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In the remake of The Karate Kid, set for release June 11, Jaden Smith must overcome several obstacles in his life, including bullies and being away from what he considers home. In honor of this remake, let’s take a look at ten classic films with the theme of “overcoming the odds.”
10. Seabiscuit – Horse racing isn’t exactly the most exciting sport in the world, but Seabiscuit provided an interesting true-life tale that spoke to the American spirit. The odds were against the horse so to speak, but the film proves that the odds aren’t always right.
9. Major League – It might be a comedy, but it’s still about a group of underdogs who end up having success. Plus it grossed more than four times its budget at the box office.
8. The Rookie – Dreams can come true at any age, even if you are a middle-aged man wanting to make it big in baseball. Dennis Quaid leads the film in a terrific performance, perfectly capturing the American spirit.
7. Miracle – The true story of the underdog United States hockey team in the 1980 Olympics, an inspiration to the entire country and to the world. The film ensured that continuing generations could enjoy that same inspiration.
6. Hoosiers – Leave it to Gene Hackman to take the Indiana boys to the top. The film also features a fantastic performance from the late great Dennis Hopper, who received an Academy Award nomination for his performance.
5. Glory Road – The tale of Texas Western College’s basketball team, which was the first in NCAA history to feature an all-African-American starting lineup. It took home an ESPY Award for Best Sports Movie.
4. Rudy – Rudy tells a very different story of overcoming the odds. Instead of being about a team trying to overcome adversity within the sport, Rudy centers on one person trying to defeat his small stature to join a team. Sean Astin gives a knockout performance as the title character.
3. Remember the Titans – With a powerful performance from Denzel Washington and an inspirational story, Remember the Titans told the story of a team whose members not only overcame others; they overcame the prejudices within themselves.
2. A League of Their Own – A League of Their Own is a tale about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, with a slew of stars, including Academy Award winner Geena Davis. What makes this film really interesting is that it is based on real life events. The team overcome the odds by playing the game they love, proving that they can ruff it up just as much as the boys can. It also features the incredible ballad “This Used to Be My Playground,” preformed by Madonna.
1. Rocky – One of the great American films of the 1970s. Sylvester Stallone gave one of his absolute best performances in this tale of triumph. After this film came out, the name “Adrian” would never be looked at the same way again. The scene in which Rocky runs up the stairs is one of the most memorable movie moments of all time. The film took home the 1976 Academy Award for Best Picture.