List of Films Based On Sports Books
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List of Films Based On Sports Books

On occasion, sports books have been used as source material for film adaptations. Popular sports in the United States such as baseball and American football have been adapted to film. Books about sports such as boxing, bullfighting, cockfighting, football, hockey, hunting have also been adapted.

Baseball

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Death on the Diamond 1934 Edward Sedgwick USA Death on the Diamond: A Baseball Mystery Story Cortland Fitzsimmons 1934 Novel
The Babe Ruth Story 1948 Roy Del Ruth USA The Babe Ruth Story Bob Considine & Babe Ruth 1948 Autobiography
Bang the Drum Slowly * 1956 ? USA Bang the Drum Slowly Mark Harris 1956 Novel
Fear Strikes Out 1957 Robert Mulligan USA Fear Strikes Out: The Jim Piersall Story Jimmy Piersall & Albert S. Hirshberg 1955 Autobiography
Bang the Drum Slowly 1973 John D. Hancock USA Bang the Drum Slowly Mark Harris 1956 Novel
It's Good to Be Alive 1974 Michael Landon USA It's Good to Be Alive Roy Campanella 1960 Autobiography
The Natural 1984 Barry Levinson USA The Natural Bernard Malamud 1952 Novel
Long Gone 1987 Martin Davidson USA Long Gone (novel) Paul Hemphill 1979 Novel
Eight Men Out 1988 John Sayles USA 8 Men Out Eliot Asinof 1963 Non-fiction
Field of Dreams 1989 Phil Alden Robinson USA Shoeless Joe W.P. Kinsella 1982 Novel
Cobb 1994 Ron Shelton USA Cobb: A Biography Al Stump 1994 Non-fiction
The Fan 1996 Tony Scott USA The Fan Peter Abrahams 1995 Novel
For Love of the Game 1999 Sam Raimi USA For Love of the Game Michael Shaara 1991 Novel
American Pastime 2007 Desmond Nakano USA Through a Diamond: 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball (uncredited) Kerry Yo Nakagawa[1] (uncredited) 2002 Non-fiction
Moneyball 2011 Bennett Miller USA Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis 2003 Non-fiction
  • * television film.

Comedies

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Rhubarb 1951 Arthur Lubin USA Rhubarb H. Allen Smith 1946 Novel
Fever Pitch 2005 Farrelly Brothers USA Fever Pitch ?[2] Nick Hornby 1992 Memoir

Basketball

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Glory Road 2006 James Gartner USA Glory Road Don Haskins 2005 Autobiography
  • * television film.

Bodybuilding

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Stay Hungry 1976 Bob Rafelson USA Stay Hungry Charles Gaines 1972 Novel

Boxing

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
City for Conquest 1940 Anatole Litvak & Jean Negulesco (uncredited) USA City for Conquest Aben Kandel 1936 Novel
Gentleman Jim 1942 Raoul Walsh USA The Roar of the Crowd James J. Corbett 1894 Autobiography
Fat City 1972 John Huston USA Fat City Leonard Gardner 1969 Novel
Mandingo 1975 Richard Fleischer USA Mandingo Kyle Onstott 1957 Novel
Raging Bull[3] 1980 Martin Scorsese USA Raging Bull: My Story Jake LaMotta & Joseph Carter 1970 Autobiography
The Hurricane 1999 Norman Jewison USA The 16th Round Rubin "Hurricane" Carter 199? Non-fiction

Bullfighting

Running of the Bulls

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Sun Also Rises 1957 Henry King USA The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway[4] 1926 Novel

Buzkashi

Car racing

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Last American Hero 1973 Lamont Johnson USA "The Last American Hero" from The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby Tom Wolfe 1965 Article
Bobby Deerfield 1977 Sydney Pollack USA Heaven Has No Favorites Erich Maria Remarque 1959 Novel

Comedies

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Love Bug 1968 Robert Stevenson USA Car, Boy, Girl Gordon Buford 1961 Novel
Stroker Ace 1983 Hal Needham USA Stand On It William Neely & Robert K. Ottum 1971 Novel

Cockfighting

(Popular and legal in Mexico)

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Cockfighter 1974 Monte Hellman USA Cockfighter Charles Willeford[5] 1962/1972 Novel

Cycling

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Program 2015 Stephen Frears UK, France Seven Deadly Sins David Walsh 2012 Non-fiction

Diving

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story * 1997 Steven Hilliard Stern USA Breaking the Surface Greg Louganis & Eric Marcus 199? Autobiography
  • * television film.

Falconry

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Kes 1969 Ken Loach UK A Kestrel for a Knave Barry Hines 1968 Novel
The Falcons Magasiskola 1970 István Gaál Hungary Magasiskola Miklós Mészöly 1967 Novel
The Hawk Is Dying 2006 Julian Goldberger USA The Hawk Is Dying Harry Crews 1973 Novel

Fencing

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Last Days of Patton ? * 1986 Delbert Mann USA The Last Days of Patton Ladislas Farago 1981 Non-fiction
The Fencing Master El maestro de esgrima 1992 Pedro Olea Spain The Fencing Master Arturo Pérez-Reverte 1988 Novel
  • ? Gen. George Patton relaxes in occupied Bavaria with fencing and horseback riding.
  • * television film.

Fishing

  • * television film.

Football/soccer

Football, American

Professional, college, high school

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type TV Date Country
Navy Blue and Gold 1937 Sam Wood USA Navy Blue and Gold George Bruce 1937? Novel - - -
Jim Thorpe - All-American 1951 Michael Curtiz USA ? Jim Thorpe 19 Autobiography - - -
Brian's Song 1971 Buzz Kulik USA I Am Third Gale Sayers & Al Silverman 1970 Autobiography Brian's Song 2001 USA
North Dallas Forty 1979 Ted Kotcheff USA North Dallas Forty Peter Gent 1973 Novel - - -
Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story 1980 Robert Lieberman USA Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story Rocky Bleier 1975 Autobiography - - -
Everybody's All-American 1988 Taylor Hackford USA Everybody's All-American Frank Deford 1981 Novel - - -
Any Given Sunday 1999 Oliver Stone USA On Any Given Sunday[10] (uncredited) Pat Toomay (uncredited) 199? Novel - - -
Monday Night Mayhem 2002 Ernest R. Dickerson USA Monday Night Mayhem: The Inside Story of ABC's Monday Night Football Bill Carter & Marc Gunther 1988 Non-fiction - - -
The Junction Boys * 2002 Mike Robe USA The Junction Boys Jim Dent 2001 Non-fiction - - -
Friday Night Lights 2004 Peter Berg USA Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream H. G. Bissinger 1990 Non-fiction Friday Night Lights 2006 USA
Code Breakers * 2005 Rod Holcomb USA A Return to Glory: the Untold Story of Honor, Dishonor, and Triumph at the United States Military Academy, 1950-53 Bill McWilliams 2000[9] Non-fiction - - -
The Express 2008 Gary Fleder USA Ernie Davis, the Elmira Express: the Story of a Heisman Trophy Winner Robert C. Gallagher 1983[9] Biography - - -
The Blind Side 2009 John Lee Hancock USA The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game Michael Lewis 2006 Non-fiction - - -
Radio 2003 Mike Tollin USA "Someone to Lean On" Gary Smith 1996 Article - - -
  • * television film.

Comedies

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Horse Feathers 1932 Norman Z. McLeod USA Fun in Hi Skule Marx Brothers 1920s Vaudeville
The Gladiator 1938 Edward Sedgwick USA Gladiator Philip Wylie 1930 Novel
Paper Lion 1968 Alex March USA Paper Lion George Plimpton 1967 Memoir
Semi-Tough 1977 Michael Ritchie USA Semi-Tough Dan Jenkins 1969? Novel

Off the field

(Terrorism became a regular part of news reports in the early 1970s, and this theme was extended to popular fiction.)

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Two-Minute Warning 1976 Larry Peerce USA Two-Minute Warning George La Fountaine, Sr. 197? Novel
Black Sunday 1977 John Frankenheimer USA Black Sunday Thomas Harris 1975 Novel

Football, Australian

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Great Macarthy 1975 David Baker Australia A Salute to the Great Macarthy Barry Oakley 197? Novel
Australian Rules 2002 Paul Goldman Australia Deadly, Unna? Phillip Gwynne 1998 Novel

Football, Canadian

Professional and university

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Man Who Lost Himself * aka The Stranger I Married 2005 Helen Shaver Canada The Man Who Lost Himself: The Terry Evanshen Story June Callwood 2000 Non-fiction
  • * television film.

Golf

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Dead Solid Perfect * 1988 Bobby Roth USA Dead Solid Perfect Dan Jenkins 198? Novel
The Legend of Bagger Vance 2000 Robert Redford USA The Legend of Bagger Vance Steven Pressfield 1995 Novel
A Gentleman's Game 2002 J. Mills Goodloe USA A Gentleman's Game Tom Coyne 200? Novel
The Greatest Game Ever Played 2005 Bill Paxton USA The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf Mark Frost 2002 Non-fiction
Tommy's Honour 2016 Jason Connery UK/USA Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son Kevin Cook 2007 Non-fiction
  • * television film.

Gymnastics

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Peaceful Warrior 2006 Victor Salva USA Way of the Peaceful Warrior Dan Millman 1980 Novel/ Memoir

Ice hockey

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Face-Off 1971 George McCowan Canada Face-Off Scott Young & George Robertson 1971[11]¤ Novel
Net Worth * 1995 Jerry Ciccoritti Canada Net Worth: Exploding the Myth of Pro Hockey David Cruise & Alison Griffiths 1991[11] Non-fiction
Breakfast with Scot 2007 Laurie Lynd Canada Breakfast with Scot Michael Downing 1999[11] Novel
  • * television film.

Horse racing

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
National Velvet[12] 1944 Clarence Brown USA National Velvet Enid Bagnold 1935 Novel
Dead Cert 1974 Tony Richardson UK Dead Cert Dick Francis 1962 Novel
International Velvet 1978 Bryan Forbes USA National Velvet Enid Bagnold 1935 Novel
Champions 1983 John Irvin UK Champion's Story Bob Champion & Jonathan Powell 197? Autobiography
Let It Ride 1989 Joe Pytka USA Good Vibes Jay Cronley 1979 Novel
Seabiscuit 2003 Gary Ross USA Seabiscuit: An American Legend[13] Laura Hillenbrand 2001 Non-fiction
Secretariat 2010 Randall Wallace USA Secretariat: The Making of a Champion (uncredited) William Nack 1975 Non-fiction

Comedies

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Francis Goes to the Races 1951 Arthur Lubin USA Francis (characters) David Stern 1946[9] Novel

Overland

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Hidalgo 2004 Joe Johnston USA ? Frank Hopkins 1891 Memoir (discredited)

Hot air ballooning

Hunting

Fox hunting

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Voice of Bugle Ann 1936 Richard Thorpe USA The Voice of Bugle Ann MacKinlay Kantor 193? Novel
The Fox and the Hound 1981 Ted Berman & Richard Rich USA The Fox and the Hound Daniel P. Mannix 1967 Novel

Game

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Last Hunt 1956 Richard Brooks USA The Last Hunt Milton Lott 1954 Novel
Shalako 1968 Edward Dmytryk USA Shalako Louis L'Amour 1962 Novel
White Hunter Black Heart 1990 Clint Eastwood USA White Hunter Black Heart ? Peter Viertel 1953 Novel

Game birds

  • ? A duck-hunting grandfather (Jean Gabin) takes on a gang of drug traffickers.[15]

Hiking

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Wild 2014 Jean-Marc Vallée USA Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail Cheryl Strayed 2012 Memoir

Hurling

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Rooney 1956 George Pollock UK Rooney Catherine Cookson 1957 Novel

Jai alai

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Spanish Gardener 1956 Philip Leacock UK The Spanish Gardener A. J. Cronin 1950 Novel

Kite flying

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Kite Runner 2007 Marc Forster USA The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini 2003 Novel

Lacrosse

(Lacrosse is the official national (summer) sport of Canada)

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Express ? 2008 Gary Fleder USA Ernie Davis, the Elmira Express: the Story of a Heisman Trophy Winner Robert C. Gallagher 1983[9] Non-fiction

Marathon

Marathon dancing

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 1969 Sydney Pollack USA They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Horace McCoy 1935 Novel

Mountaineering

  • * television film.

Polo

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Once Before I Die ? 1966 John Derek USA Quit for the Next Lt. Anthony March 1945 Novel
  • ? Polo-playing US cavalrymen resist Japanese invasion.

Roller derby

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Whip It 2009 Drew Barrymore USA Derby Girl Shauna Cross 2007 Novel

Rowing

  • ? Two rowers are recruited by the CIA, and the sport follows the agents through their lives.
  • * television film.

Rugby league

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
This Sporting Life 1963 Lindsay Anderson UK This Sporting Life David Storey 1960 Novel

Rugby union

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Invictus 2009 Clint Eastwood USA Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation John Carlin 2008 Non-fiction

Off the field

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Supervivientes de los Andes 1976 René Cardona jr. Mexico Survive Clay Blair 1973 Non-fiction
Alive 1993 Frank Marshall USA Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors Piers Paul Read 1974 Non-fiction

Sailing

(Yachting)

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Deep (unfinished) 1970 Orson Welles USA Dead Calm Charles F. Williams 1963 Novel
Dead Calm 1989 Phillip Noyce Australia Dead Calm Charles F. Williams 1963 Novel
White Squall 1996 Ridley Scott USA The Last Voyage of the Albatross Chuck Gieg & Felix Sutton 1962[9] Non-fiction
Two Came Back * 1997 Dick Lowry USA Albatross Deborah Scaling-Kiley & Meg Noonan 199? Novel?/ Memoir
Mutiny ? 1925 F. Martin Thornton UK ? Ben Bolt 192? Novel
  • ? No plot is currently available for this yachting film.
  • * television film.

Scuba diving and snorkelling

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Deep 1977 Peter Yates USA The Deep Peter Benchley 1976 Novel

Skating

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Thin Ice 1937 Sidney Lanfield USA Thin Ice (?) Attila Orbók Orbók Attila 193? Novel

Skiing

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Downhill Racer 1969 Michael Ritchie USA The Downhill Racers Oakley Hall 1963 Novel
The Other Side of the Mountain 1975 Larry Peerce USA A Long Way Up: the Story of Jill Kinmont E.G. Valens 1966[9] Non-fiction
Crazy Canucks * 2004 Randy Bradshaw Canada White Circus[19] (uncredited) Ken Read & Matthew Fisher (uncredited) 1987 Novel
  • * television film.

Skydiving

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Gypsy Moths 1969 John Frankenheimer USA The Gypsy Moths, A Fable James Drought 1955 Novel

Stunt driving

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
My House in Umbria ? * 2003 Richard Loncraine UK & Italy My House in Umbria William Trevor 1991 Novella
  • ? The film includes flashbacks of the Wall of Death.
  • * television film.

Surfing

Swimming

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Swimming Upstream 2003 Russell Mulcahy Australia Swimming Upstream Anthony Fingleton ? Autobiography

Tennis

Real tennis

Track and field

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Blackbeard's Ghost 1968 Robert Stevenson USA Blackbeard's Ghost Ben Stahl 1965 Novel

Wrestling

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
The Gladiator 1938 Edward Sedgwick USA Gladiator Philip Wylie 1930 Novel

Historical sports

Chariot racing

  • ? A chase, rather than a race.

Gladiatorial combat

Film Date Director Country Source work Author Date Type
Spartaco 1913 Giovanni Enrico Vidali Italy Spartaco Raffaello Giovagnoli 1873 Novel
Spartacus 1960 Stanley Kubrick USA Spartacus Howard Fast[24] 1951 Novel
The Sword in the Stone 1963 Wolfgang Reitherman USA The Sword in the Stone T. H. White 1938/1958 Novel
Spartacus (television miniseries) 2004 USA

See also

Pages with the same format

Bibliography

  • Lavington, Stephen. Virgin Film: Oliver Stone, Virgin Books, London, 2004.
  • (fr) Julien Camy and Gérard Camy, Sport&Cinéma, ed. Du Bailli de Suffren, 2016, (1200 films, 60 sports, 80 interviews)

References

  1. ^ Nakagawa is credited as associate producer and actor, rather than author.
  2. ^ a b Recipient of the William Hill Award in 1992.
  3. ^ Inducted into the US National Film Registry in 1990.
  4. ^ a b Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.
  5. ^ In 1989, Willeford published Cockfighter Journal: The Story of a Shooting about the making of Cockfighter.
  6. ^ Recommended for the Pulitzer Prize in 1977, but the award was overturned.
  7. ^ Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1953.
  8. ^ Publication details for this title have been confirmed by the catalogue of the British Library. Source: British Library Integrated Catalogue.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Publication details for this title have been confirmed by the catalogue of the US Library of Congress. Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog.
  10. ^ Source: Lavington (q.v.), p. 256.
  11. ^ a b c d Publication details for this title have been confirmed by the catalogue of Library and Archives Canada. Source: Library Search.
  12. ^ Inducted into the US National Film Registry in 2003.
  13. ^ Recipient of the William Hill Award in 2001.
  14. ^ Recipient of the WH Smith Literary Award in 1981.
  15. ^ Source: plot description and still photos from VHS box.
  16. ^ Publication details for this title have been confirmed by the catalogue of the German National Library. Source: Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek.
  17. ^ Recipient of a Newbery Honor for 1955.
  18. ^ Recipient of the William Hill Award in 1989.
  19. ^ Source: like2do.com resource article on Ken Read.
  20. ^ Source: like2do.com resource article on The Seven Percent Solution.
  21. ^ Sienkiewicz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905.
  22. ^ Inducted into the US National Film Registry in 1997.
  23. ^ Inducted into the US National Film Registry in 2004.
  24. ^ Fast was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1953.
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