The Fighter

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in The Fighter

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     28 June   Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield’s ear, 1997 On this day in 1997, during a boxing match for the WBA Heavyweight Championship title, one of the fighters, “Iron” Mike Tyson, bit off a chunk of the ear of …

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Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium, Mexico 1968

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     4 April   Martin Luther King assassinated, 1968 On this day in 1968, the black civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. He’d gone there to intervene in a strike of black sanitary public …

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Rudo y Cursi

Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna in Rudo y Cursi

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     16 March   The Wanderers FC win first FA Cup, 1872 Today in 1872, the London football club Wanderers won the first football association cup, the oldest football competition in the world. It was the first of three wins of …

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The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     2 December     Big Daddy dies, 1997 On this day in 1997, the wrestler born Shirley Crabtree in Halifax, England, in 1930, died. Crabtree came from a wrestling family – his father, also named Shirley Crabtree, was a wrestler, …

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Without Limits

Billy Crudup as Steve Prefontaine in Without Limits

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     3 November     Adolf Dassler born, 1900 On this day in 1900, Adolf Dassler, known to his friends as Adi, was born, in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. A cobbler by training he started making his own sports shoes after returning …

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Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     28 September     Death of Miles Davis, 1991 On this day in 1991, Miles Davis died. By his own estimation the Juilliard educated trumpeter, band leader and composer changed music “five or six times”. Whether that is true or …

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Love and Basketball

Omar Epps in Love and Basketball

  The sports movie meets the romance in a boy-meets-girl drama featuring two affluent black kids. Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan play the basketball-playing next-door neighbours as grown-ups, the film having followed them from before puberty, through it and out into the world of professional sport and beyond. On the romance side it’s a “will-they-won’t-they” …

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Coach Carter

Samuel L Jackson in Coach Carter

    “Inspirational coach” movies come in many shapes and sizes. This one comes in the shape of Samuel L. Jackson, the tough talking, clean-living paragon of virtue who comes into a troubled school and turns around the basketball team in the teeth of indifference from pupils, teachers and … sorry, am I boring you? …

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Sima Mobarak-Shahi in Offside

      Iranian Jafar Panahi’s comedy is about a group of girls who are arrested for dressing up as boys and trying to get in to see the 2006 World Cup Iran/Bahrain qualifier, women not being allowed to watch football in Iran. Accessing another country’s culture through football is a neat way of curving …

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