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The Greatest Game Ever Played

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Genders: Drama, Sport, History

Director: Bill Paxton

Writer: Mark Frost, Mark Frost

Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Stephen Dillane, Elias Koteas, James Paxton

Year: 2005
Run time: 2h
IMDB score: 7.3
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Greatest Game Ever Played

Genders: Drama, Sport, History

Imdb Score: 7.3

Runtime: 2h

Released: 30 Sep 2005

Director: Bill Paxton

Writer: Mark Frost, Mark Frost

Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Stephen Dillane, Elias Koteas, James Paxton

Box Office: $15.3M

Company: Buena Vista Pictures

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

The Greatest Game Ever Played Available Subtitles

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Trailer


Review

A great, great movie even for those (like me) who don't like golf!

8/10 Bill Paxton has taken the true story of the 1913 US golf open and made a film that is about much more than an extra-ordinary game of golf. The film also deals directly with the class tensions of the early twentieth century and touches upon the profound anti-Catholic prejudices of both the British and American establishments. But at heart the film is about that perennial favourite of triumph against the odds.

The acting is exemplary throughout. Stephen Dillane is excellent as usual, but the revelation of the movie is Shia LaBoeuf who delivers a disciplined, dignified and highly sympathetic performance as a working class Franco-Irish kid fighting his way through the prejudices of the New England WASP establishment. For those who are only familiar with his slap-stick performances in "Even Stevens" this demonstration of his maturity is a delightful surprise. And Josh Flitter as the ten year old caddy threatens to steal every scene in which he appears.

A old fashioned movie in the best sense of the word: fine acting, clear directing and a great story that grips to the end - the final scene an affectionate nod to Casablanca is just one of the many pleasures that fill a great movie.

one year ago

Great Disney Sports Movie

9/10 As a recreational golfer with some knowledge of the sport's history, I was pleased with Disney's sensitivity to the issues of class in golf in the early twentieth century. The movie depicted well the psychological battles that Harry Vardon fought within himself, from his childhood trauma of being evicted to his own inability to break that glass ceiling that prevents him from being accepted as an equal in English golf society. Likewise, the young Ouimet goes through his own class struggles, being a mere caddie in the eyes of the upper crust Americans who scoff at his attempts to rise above his standing.

What I loved best, however, is how this theme of class is manifested in the characters of Ouimet's parents. His father is a working-class drone who sees the value of hard work but is intimidated by the upper class; his mother, however, recognizes her son's talent and desire and encourages him to pursue his dream of competing against those who think he is inferior.

Finally, the golf scenes are well photographed. Although the course used in the movie was not the actual site of the historical tournament, the little liberties taken by Disney do not detract from the beauty of the film. There's one little Disney moment at the pool table; otherwise, the viewer does not really think Disney. The ending, as in "Miracle," is not some Disney creation, but one that only human history could have written.

one year ago

Wonderful

8/10 I saw this film in a sneak preview, and it is delightful. The cinematography is unusually creative, the acting is good, and the story is fabulous. If this movie does not do well, it won't be because it doesn't deserve to. Before this film, I didn't realize how charming Shia Lebouf could be. He does a marvelous, self-contained, job as the lead. There's something incredibly sweet about him, and it makes the movie even better. The other actors do a good job as well, and the film contains moments of really high suspense, more than one might expect from a movie about golf. Sports movies are a dime a dozen, but this one stands out.

This is one I'd recommend to anyone.

one year ago

Feel-good movie like "Seabiscuit"

10/10 Although I'm not a golf fan, I attended a sneak preview of this movie and absolutely loved it. The historical settings, the blatant class distinctions, and seeing the good and the bad on both sides of the dividing line held my attention throughout. The actors and their characterizations were all mesmerizing. And I was on the edge of my seat during the golf segments, which were not only dramatic and exciting but easy to follow. Toward the end of this movie, "Seabiscuit" came strongly to mind, although "The Greatest Game Ever Played" is far less complex a story than that film. In both cases, the fact that the events really happened deepened my interest.

one year ago

a Truly Moving Picture

9/10 I saw this film on September 1st, 2005 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival that screens films for their Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "...explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.

This is a story of golf in the early part of the 20th century. At that time, it was the game of upper class and rich "gentlemen", and working people could only participate by being caddies at country clubs. With this backdrop, this based-on-a-true-story unfolds with a young, working class boy who takes on the golf establishment and the greatest golfer in the world, Harry Vardon.

And the story is inspirational. Against all odds, Francis Ouimet (played by Shia LaBeouf of "Holes") gets to compete against the greatest golfers of the U.S. and Great Britain at the 1913 U.S. Open. Francis is ill-prepared, and has a child for a caddy. (The caddy is hilarious and motivational and steals every scene he appears in.) But despite these handicaps, Francis displays courage, spirit, heroism, and humility at this world class event.

And, we learn a lot about the early years of golf; for example, the use of small wooden clubs, the layout of the short holes, the manual scoreboard, the golfers swinging with pipes in their mouths, the terrible conditions of the greens and fairways, and the play not being canceled even in torrential rain.

This film has stunning cinematography and art direction and editing. And with no big movie stars, the story is somehow more believable.

This adds to the inventory of great sports movies in the vein of "Miracle" and "Remember the Titans."

FYI - There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past winners going back 70 years.

one year ago