Our kind friends from Monaco put together a compilation of athletics films from across the globe worth viewing.
The list includes time-honoured classics such as Chariots of Fire (1981) and Marathon Man (1976). Providing international breadth with the Indian biopic Bhaag Milkha Baag (2013) and global doping expose Icarus (2017).
The ten options are punctuated by films that aren’t strictly sport-related, but include heavy athletic influences.
World Athletics: Ten of the most successful athletics movies of all time
One 1998 feature film with cult-following status of sorts missed out – Without Limits.
Whilst a 1997 Jared Leto led Prefontaine does exist, telling Prefontaine’s story from assistant coach Bill Dellinger’s viewpoint, the 1998 option takes pride of place in many sporting film collections.
The Steve Prefontaine biopic, known to many a distance runner with a fascination in anything University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman, Montreal Olympics or waffle iron related. Chronicling the rise to Olympic fame of the often mythologised Prefontaine – the film stars Billy Crudup and Donald Sutherland illustrating the terse early developments of the Prefontaine-Bowerman relationship. Co-written by Prefontaine’s teammate, Kenny Moore, the career author and sports journalist includes notable thematic nods. The film intelligently assesses the beginning of the end for the ‘amateur’ era of international athletics, Pre’s tenacious style of racing, and his lasting cultural effects on the sport globally.