POSTED June 8 2013

Good Sports, including Sanaa Lathan and Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum in "She's the Man."

Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum in “She’s the Man.”

Thinking about the passing of Esther Williams and the tabloid news about Amanda Bynes’  eccentric behavior, I naturally thought of my favorite films about women athletes, among them She’s the Man, an update of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with Bynes as a soccer-playing, cross-dressing Viola.

1)   The Bad News Bears (1976) Girl hurler Amanda Whurlizer (Tatum O’Neal) leads her little league team from worst to contender.

2)   Bend it Like Beckham (2003) Female soccer jocks Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley gain the respect of their grudging parents and coach.

3)   Bring it On (2000) Cheerleader Kirsten Dunst chooses sportsmanship over certain victory when she admits her squad has stolen its routine.

4)   A League of Their Own (1992) During World War II, sisters Geena Davis and Lori Petty are catcher and pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and earn a place in Cooperstown.

5)   Love and Basketball (2000) Hoops stars (and next-door neighbors) Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps fall in and out of love with their sport and each other.

6)   She’s the Man (2006)  When her  school cuts its girls’ soccer team, Amanda Bynes poses as her twin brother to play in this gloss on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

National Velvet should have a spot on this list. Are there others? Your favorite films about women in sports?


  1. wwolfe says:

    Pat and Mike! And, on a slightly less elevated artistic plane, perhaps, but still a favorite of mine: Necessary Roughness, in which Scott Bakula’s pushing-40 freshman quarterback is supported by, among others, Kathy ireland’s placekicker.

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