The sports film genre
Genre has played a crucial role in the history of film. It is, however, a classification mechanism associated first and foremost with mainstream films and particularly those emanating from Hollywood, and it as such that this chapter will consider the emergence and characteristics of the sports film genre. This is not to say that these characteristics are not found in films emerging from other societies; indeed, the influence of Hollywood cinema has been so significant that nonHollywood sports films, as will be considered in Chapter 6, often exhibit similar characteristics to films associated with Hollywood. The commercial popularity internationally of Hollywood film is such that its influence in various forms, including in sports films, is hardly surprising. As noted by Scott Robert Olson, ‘Worldwide, audiences are 100 times more likely to see a Hollywood film than see a European film … Hollywood satisfies 70% of international demand for television narrative and 80% of demand for feature films’ (1999, p. 23).