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1 Caddyshack vs. 4 The Karate Kid (1984)
There have been a surprising amount of golf films, especially considering that the sport is hard to show on film with any semblance of suspense. Hence, we have Caddyshack, an irreverent take on the sport that’s hardly about the sport but all about the culture. From Rodney Dangerfield’s terrific supporting performance to Carl Spackler and the gopher to a Baby Ruth in the pool, this is a coming-of-age story and wacky comedy that’s simply never been duplicated.
You’re the best around: The Karate Kid might be most famous for making the sports montage a genre staple, but it could also be wax-on, wax-off. For 1984, “Karate Kid” pre-dates the wave of ‘90s youth sports films and no doubt inspired them even if its more serious than most kid-based sports films. No karate movie could ever be done again without drawing a comparison to this film starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita as a bullied student and his karate mentor who learn that the deeper significance of the sport in working together.
2 Cool Runnings vs 3 Happy Gilmore
Happy Gilmore is one of two Adam Sandler films still alive in Sports Movie Madness and it was one of his first hits. To me, golf is one of the most boring sports ever invented, so it needed to be made more exciting. Sandler plays an ex-hockey player with anger management problems who converts his mighty slap shot for golf purposes. Made with Sandler’s usual over-the-top style, many critics and film fans consider Happy Gilmore as one of Sandler’s better films.
Disney has made a lot of sports films and Cool Runnings is one of their most famous. Loosely based on the true story about Jamaica sending a bobsled team to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, Cool Runnings tells (in comedic fashion) how three Jamaican sprinters who failed to make that nation’s Olympics team become the first Caribbean nation to compete in the Winter Olympics. Cool Runnings shows the team’s trials and tribulations of training and competing in the Olympics.