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Huddle Up for Football Movies

by Sarah Soliman

The Super Bowl is almost upon us, and besides the game and the commercials and the halftime show and the snacks, The Picture House also loves the movies. TPH staff picks our favorite movies (and a tv show) to get you ready for kickoff.

Any Given Sunday — Jon Bingham, Operations & Theater Manager

Search Any Given Sunday online, and the next suggested word will likely be ‘speech’, referring to Al Pacino’s famous monologue. Although the elite action and business of the NFL may prove impossible to replicate, Oliver Stone’s behind-the-scenes rendering of pro football finds ground in the idea that life is a game of inches.

North Dallas Forty — Clay Bushong, Director of Programming & Business Development

Adapted from the brutally honest book of the same title by Peter Gent, North Dallas Forty stars Nick Nolte and Mac Davis as aging superstar players battling injuries and younger up-and-coming players. When the movie was being made in 1979, the NFL opted not to endorse it, because they thought it hit a little too close to home. The movie is a great mix of comedy, action, and drama, and it leaves you thinking about what it takes to be out there on any given Sunday — and the lasting effects football players are willing to trade for glory.

Remember the Titans — Laura deBuys, President & Executive Director

I’m a fan of most sports movies — all that teamwork, facing down adversity, tears, triumph; but Remember the Titans goes beyond all of that, and not just because of the outstanding cast. Now 23 years old, it is as fresh and critically important as it was in 2000. This line says it all: “When all this is over… me and you are gonna move out to the same neighborhood together. OK? And, um … and we’ll get old, and we’ll get fat. And there ain’t gonna be all this black-white between us.” Remember the Titans, please!

The Blind Side — Andrea Pace, Director of Membership & Special Events

Sandra Bullock, one of my all-time favorite actresses, won an Oscar for her role as a no-nonsense Southern lady in this sports drama based on the true-life story of Michael Oher. The Blind Side chronicles the life of Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who, with the help of his adoptive mom (Bullock), goes on to attend Ole Miss and eventually becomes an All-American football player and first round draft pick in the NFL. I loved watching this film with my kids as they were growing up. It drives home the importance of hard work, determination, and family support. 

Rudy — Sue Perry, Controller

Rudy is a classic American sports film that tells the story of a young man named Rudy Ruettiger who dreams of playing football for Notre Dame. Despite facing numerous obstacles and setbacks, Rudy refuses to give up on his dream and trains tirelessly to become a player on the team. The film, which was released in 1993, stars Sean Astin in the titular role. With its inspiring message of perseverance and determination, Rudy has become a fan favorite. Whether you’re a football fan or not, this film is sure to leave a lasting impression and inspire you to never give up on your dreams.  

Friday Night Lights — Sarah Soliman, Marketing & Communications Manager

Friday Night Lights is a show that I (and seemingly everyone who ever watched it) love deeply. People love to say that it’s not really a show about football, and that’s true — it’s about friendship and family and small-town politics, and it’s about how the people you know and love help you find your place in the world. But it is also about football, and how, for both good and bad, football touches just about every aspect of life in the kind of small town that Dillon, Texas is. It’s exhilarating and moving, and, for me, it’s the ultimate comfort tv — clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

The Game Plan — Ope Tukuru, Development Associate  

In a PR disaster, a long-lost daughter suddenly appears on Boston-based quarterback Joe Kingman’s doorstep one day. A precocious eight-year-old aspiring ballerina, Peyton is a foil to Kingman’s long-term career goals. Her unexpected arrival threatens Joe’s endorsements and calls into question his ability to maintain a successful work-family balance. Is the love for family stronger than the love of money? Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Madison Pettis, and Kyra Sedgwick, The Game Plan is an unconventional story that conveys the struggle of healing generational wounds.