Sport and Film  book cover
1st Edition

Sport and Film

ISBN 9780415569934
Published May 22, 2013 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

The sports film has become one of commercial cinema's most recognizable genres. From classic boxing films such as Raging Bull (1980) to soccer-themed box-office successes like Bend it Like Beckham (2002), the sports film stands at the interface of two of our most important cultural forms. This book examines the social, historical and ideological significance of representations of sport in film internationally, an essential guide for all students and enthusiasts of sport, film, media and culture.

Sport and Film traces the history of the sports film, from the beginnings of cinema in the 1890s, its consolidation as a distinct fiction genre in the mid 1920s in Hollywood films such as Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman (1925), to its contemporary manifestation in Oscar-winning films such as Million Dollar Baby (2004) and The Fighter (2010). Drawing on an extensive range of films as source material, the book explores key issues in the study of sport, film and wider society, including race, social class, gender and the legacy of 9/11. It also offers an invaluable guide to 'reading' a film, to help students fully engage with their source material. Comprehensive, authoritative and accessible, this book is an important addition to the literature in both film and media studies, sport studies and cultural studies more generally.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Sport and Film?  Chapter 1: Reading the Sports Film  Chapter 2: Early Cinema and the Emergence of the Sports Film  Chapter 3: The Sports Film Genre  Chapter 4: ‘Truths that tell a lie’: Race, Social Class and the American Dream in the Sports Film  Chapter 5: Gender and the Sports Film  Chapter 6: The Sports Film, National Culture and Identity  Conclusion: 9/11 and the Contemporary Mainstream Sports Film

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Seán Crosson is Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies: Theory and Practice in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI, Galway, Ireland. He has published widely on film, focusing in particular in recent years on the representation of sport in film. His previous publications include (as co-editor) the collection Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe (Peter Lang, 2010) and a special issue of Media History journal on 'Sport and the Media in Ireland' (2011).


"Sport and Film is an important addition to the literature which, though not primarily historical in orientation, will be of considerable interest to sports historians." – Marcus Free, The International Journal of the History of Sport, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland

"Seán Crosson can be deservedly said to have moved the ‘frontiers of sport’ and should inspire students to engage with both sport in film and film in sport." – John Bale, Sport in History, Keele University, UK