Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
As you await the Super Bowl this Sunday, you’ll be making the usual preparations: concocting the perfect seven-layer dip, stocking up on beer and, if you’re like us and can’t solely devote the weekend to sports, maybe popping in your favorite football movies.
For a few decades of my life, the only football games I saw were the ones on the big screen in titles like The Best of Times, Wildcats, The Last Boy Scout and, uh, Disney’s animated Robin Hood. Nowadays I still prefer the sport when it’s in movie form, especially in documentaries like Oscar winner Undefeated, Go Tigers! and Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.
If you’re not into football, it’s not always easy to get into a movie about football unless it’s really well told or really funny. That’s why my favorites include two of the most classic football comedies of all time.
Here are my top three favorite football movies:
1. Horse Feathers
The Marx Brothers go to college in this zany takedown of academia and athletics on the higher education level, and the whole thing culminates in one of the most hilarious sports movie climaxes of all time. Groucho, Zeppo and Chico all join him on the field, but Harpo is the star of the game, which makes sense since football was such a staple of silent comedy.
2. The Freshman (1925)
Speaking of which, this is the most necessary of all the 1920s college comedies, even more than Buster Keaton’s College (blame the blackface). Harold Lloyd stars as a student trying to impress a girl by trying out for the football team, and while he’s made the waterboy instead, he gets to help win the big game in the end. And in case you didn’t know, Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy is a remake of this much funnier film.
3. Buffalo ’66
None of the characters play any football in the movie, but the sport is integral to the plot and to many situations. Billy Brown (Vincent Gallo) has just gotten out of prison, taking the fall for someone because of a lousy Super Bowl bet. Yet even though his mother (Angelica Huston) hasn’t seen him in years, she’s still amusingly and sadly more interested in the game on the TV.
Your Picks (the top three of which are Friday Night Lights, Little Giants and Jerry Maguire):
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