The Saline Courier Weekend



“Brian’s Song” (1971) A landmark television drama, this true story made stars of James Caan and Billy Dee Williams as football-playing peers Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, whose bond didn’t waver in the face of serious illness.

“The Longest Yard” (1974) The recent remake went for broader laughs, but director Robert Aldrich’s original is a perfect blend of humor and brawn, with Burt Reynolds as a former player who coaches fellow inmates against guards.

“Rudy” (1993) Sean Astin is affecting in the title role of this true drama about an unlikely player for the University of Notre Dame.

“Jerry Maguire” (1996) Actual football action is sparse in Cameron Crowe’s superb character study until the final stretch, but once Rod Tidwell (Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr.) takes the field, it’s clear to see how much his performanc­e in the game impacts sports agent Maguire (Tom Cruise).

“Remember the Titans” (2000) The Disney studio got on a trail of inspiratio­nal sports dramas with this true story of a new high-school coach (Denzel Washington) who unites his racially divided team in early-1970s Virginia.

“We Are Marshall” (2006)The deeply emotional story of Marshall University’s football team, which had to rebuild after a plane crash claimed many of its members, stars Matthew Mcconaughe­y and Matthew Fox.

“Friday Night Lights” (2004) A darker side of small-town high-school football comes to the fore in director Peter Berg’s fine, frank drama, with Billy Bob Thornton as the coach and country-music star Tim Mcgraw in an impressive acting turn as a player’s father.

“The Blind Side” (2009) Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for this true story, casting her as a woman who becomes the surrogate mother of football-star-to-be Michael Oher (played by Quinton Aaron).

 ?? ?? James Caan in “Brian’s Song”
James Caan in “Brian’s Song”

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