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5 Riveting rugby movies

2011-09-02 10:34
Sweet ‘n Short (1991)

A South African classic. Leon Schuster, a self-proclaimed rugby die-hard, brings us the hilarious tale of sportscaster Sweet Coetzee who is accidentally hit over the head during a robbery and slips into a coma. He wakes up some years later to a newly democratic South Africa, where Riaan Cruywagen now reads the news in Zulu and the Springboks have been renamed the Zambuks, after the popular skincare ointment.

In unmistakable Schuster style, the humour is played as fast and loose as the rugby scenes as Sweet comes to realise how much he loves the game and hates his nemesis - George "The Weasel" Weedle (played by Casper de Vries) - who scammed Sweet out of a promotion before his accident.

Click here to watch a side-splitting 15 minute clip of this Schuster classic.

Through it all, Sweet is accompanied by his ‘genie’ Shorty (long-time Schuster collaborator Alfred Nthombela) as they attempt to reunite Sweet with his girlfriend Sandy and concoct all kinds of ridiculous ploys to sabotage the Cowboys rugby team’s chances of winning the cup.

If you ever wanted to know if a "poep" is worth awarding a penalty to the opposing team, this is the movie to watch!

Watch the trailer here:

Getroud met Rugby (2011)

 In Getroud met Rugby, Izak Davel stars as Reghart – a young man from the wrong side of the tracks who finds himself growing up in the shadow of his dead brother who was always favoured by his father.

 While Reghart – a once talented rugby player’s list of misdemeanours grows, a has-been professional rugby player Fafa (Altus Theart) finds himself on a self-destructive downward spiral after his personal and professional life breaks down.

When both these characters reach their lowest points, a counsellor hatches the idea to have the men train together as a last resort to rehabilitate them. Through rugby, both men come to grips with the realities of their lives and learn to move on from the painful pasts that haunt them. Lively performances, a dynamic score and adrenaline fuelled rugby action sequences make Getroud met Rugby a great local rugby flick.

Watch the trailer here:

Invictus (2009)

South Africa’s triumphant re-entry into the world arena after decades of apartheid banishment is celebrated through the power of rugby, no  less, and even more surprisingly, at the hands of Dirty Harry himself, Clint Eastwood.

The Springboks massive win at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted by South Africa during a still-tentative time in the country’s infant democracy,  played an even bigger role in uniting the country. At the helm of that almost unthinkable undertaking was SA’s first democratic president, Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman), who saw in the Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (a pretty impressive Matt Damon) a leader who could help him see his vision of unity become reality.

The rugby scenes themselves are powerful and hard-hitting (as they should be) and even though the movie is less concerned with the game than it is Madiba’s legacy, and the outcome is a well-known fact, anyone left dry-eyed as Pienaar lifts the Web Ellis trophy with a beaming Mandela cheering on behind him obviously has no heart.

Watch the trailer here:

Bakgat (2008)

While this film was slated for being an unoriginal, slap-stick fiasco – many South Africans remember the film as being a fun-filled comedy that tapped into the distinctive experience of South African youth – school, matriekafskeid and of course rugby. In this coming of age flick, rugby star Werner (Altus Theart) dumps his pretty and popular girlfriend Katrien (Cherie van der Merwe) right before the matric dance. Katrien sets out to get some sweet revenge and makes a bet with her friends that she can get school nerd Wimpie Koekemoer (Ivan Botha) into the first team to replace Werner and teach him a lesson.

A sequel, Bakgat 2 was created two years later reuniting the gang and feauturing a strange cameo by none other than Steve Hofmeyr. Apart from the usual sexual escapades and antics - rugby is once again the driving force behind the characters' lives. Wimpie gets the opportunity of a lifetime when a rugby scout offers him a contract to play in England. His decision to take or leave the offer creates quite a bit of drama while never taking away from the film's main goal - scoring points in the laughs department.  Watch the trailer| Check out the gallery

Forever Strong (2008)

Forever Strong stands out as one of the only films to focus on rugby played in the US. The game so strongly associated with the old commonwealth is here given some American flair while still focusing on the game’s values and universal spirit. The film centres on a high-school rugby star named Rick Penning (Sean Faris) who is awarded a second chance after a brush with the law sees him being sentenced to serve time in a Salt Lake City juvenile detention centre. At the centre Rick is spotted by Salt Lake's famed Highland High rugby team’s coach, Larry Gelwix (Gary Cole), who is able to recognise Rick’s incredible potential. Rugby in the film becomes the vehicle through which the characters are able to work through their problems while the competitive aspect of the game makes Forever Strong a decent and inspirational sports film. Watch the trailer

Fast paced sporting action, Leon Schuster and Nelson Mandela make these five films stand out as riveting rugby movies that will fan your World Cup fever.
Read more on:    morgan freeman  |  izak davel  |  matt damon  |  movies

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