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SHOULDA BEEN Contender
Jack McCallum
February 05, 2001
You may not know some of these films, but give them a look and they might make it onto your own list of classics.
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February 05, 2001

Shoulda Been Contender

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You may not know some of these films, but give them a look and they might make it onto your own list of classics.

Gentleman Jim (1942): Errol Flynn was never better—or better looking, both in and out of the ring.

Downhill Racer (1969): Gene Hackman's coach to Robert Redford's cocky ski god: "All you ever had was skis. And that's not enough."

Heart like a Wheel (1983): It helps to have a thang for Bonnie Bedelia, who portrays trailblazing drag racer Shirley Muldowney.

Vision Quest (1985): Matthew Modine, as a high school wrestler, applies some skillful holds, a few of them on Linda Fiorentino.

The Color of Money (1986): If its father film, The Hustler, weren't immortal, this Scorsese-directed Newman-and-Cruise flick might get more respect.

Eight Men Out (1988): John Sayles's attention to detail in this period piece about the 1919 Black Sox is phenomenal, as is John Cusack as Buck Weaver.

Everybody's All-American (1988): Near 40, Jessica Lange looks old for a campus queen, but Dennis Quaid is terrific as a BMOC turned museum piece.

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993): What ever happened to Max Pomeranc, the sad-eyed miniprotagonist of this outstanding chess movie?

The Program (1993): Director David S. Ward got more things right in this football story than he did in his better-known movie, Major League.

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