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Hollywood's vision of team sports

New York : Garland Pub., 1997.

Hollywood's vision of team sports Overview

This book analyzes the ways in which sport reflects, imitates, and questions cultural values. It examines the representation of team sports, heroes, race, families, and gender in films and other media. Analysis of the ways in which broadcast media and films create such images allows us to map the ways in which traditional cultural beliefs and practices resist and accommodate changes. Films about sport do not reproduce a simple, unified set of values-rather, they exhibit the complications of attempting to negotiate ideological contradictions. During the last 50 years, sports films have shifted from the heroic idealization of The Babe Ruth Story (1948) to films revealing complexities, controversies, and uncertainties within the sports world, like Everybody's All American (1988). These contradictions are especially strong in the areas of race and gender, which are related major changes in the traditional notion of the hero. The book traces the transformation of the image of the hero in sports films within the context of the development of the sports celebrity, epitomized by Michael Jordan.

Hollywood's vision of team sports Table Of Content

Ch. 1 The Athlete as Hero, Star and Celebrity 3
Athlete as Hero 3
Athlete as Star 8
Athlete as Celebrity 9
Characters and Commodities 12
Representation of Specific Sports 14
Ryne Sandberg: The All-American Boy of Summer 17
Jim McMahon: Not Your All-American Boy 27
Michael Jordan: Transcending Chicago and Basketball 32
Ch. 2 Images of the Athletic Hero in Films 45
Two Contemporary Heroes 47
Biographical Film Heroes 50
Take Up Thy Bed and Walk 53
Football Heroes and Anti-Heroes 64
Multiple, Non-Professional Heroes 75
Ch. 3 Gender, the Family and Sports 79
Broadcasting, Sports and Women 81
Women in Male Sports Films 85
Mothers and Fathers and Sons 93
Sports Films and the Feminist Inflection 102
Maintaining the Heterosexual Couple 113
Ch. 4 The Play of Race Within Sports Films 123
Narrative Strategies Representing Race 124
Bingo Long: Separation as Resistance 126
Biographical Films and Racism 139
Race and Sports: Political Action 147
Sports as Personal Struggle 150
Separation: The Small Town 152
Constructing the Black Hero 156
Fantasy, the Playing Field and Race 165
Racial Spaces: Extending the Field 170
Conclusion 181
Appendix: Filmography 189
Bibliography 193
Index 199

Hollywood's vision of team sports Editorial Reviews


The author begins by defining the discourse of athletics and investigating its presence in broadcasting by means of textual analyses of the media images of athletes Ryne Sandberg, Jim McMahon, and Michael Jordan. She then considers the athletic ideology portrayed in Hollywood films, concluding that instead of an overarching ideology, there is a fluctuating set of attributes that vary from time to time and sport to sport. She also discusses the elements of race, gender, and family relations in the American sports film. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Readers' Reviews

Hollywood's vision of team sports

Book Info

  • Book Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN-13: 9780815329077
  • ISBN-10: 0815329075
  • Number of Pages: 216
  • Dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)
  • Approx Price: $43.99
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