By the Sword (1991) Jeremy Kagan, F. Murray Abraham, Eric Roberts, Mia Sara, Adventure, Drama, Sport
A mysterious man, Suba, gets himself a job at a fencing academy, and as he learns the way of the students, the school, and its maestro, they learn that there’s more to him than meets the eye. He gains (or regains?) his fencing skills and his philosophy of teaching clashes with the maestro’s.
Alibi Ike (1935) Ray Enright, Joe E. Brown, Olivia de Havilland, Ruth Donnelly, Comedy, Romance, Sport
Rookie pitcher Francis “Ike” Farrell comes seemingly out of nowhere to help the Cubs go for the pennant. His idiosyncratic ways, which include excuses and alibis for everything, drive his manager and fiancee crazy in this baseball farce.
Nathaniel “Cornbread” Hamilton was the black urban dream and a hero to youngsters Wilford Robinson and Earl Carter. Shortly before he would have become the first man from his community to go to college, he demonstrates his scholarship-winning running ability to his friends and admirers in the neighborhood. At the same time, the police are on a manhunt for an armed rapist. They mistake Cornbread for the rapist and shoot him dead in the street. In the aftermath of the community’s shattered dream, and in the face of an intimidating police cover-up, Wilford is determined not to betray the memory of his hero.
Joe O’Hara, a hard fighter, wants the championship title for the money to finance the concert pianist career of his brother Mike, who also could be a good fighter. When Joe fights the title bout someone tells his opponent, Tiger Johnson, that one of his eyes is bad and Johnson works on it until Joe loses the fight and his eyesight. Mike is enraged and starts training for the ring. He works himself up to the title bout with Tiger Johnson.
Forced to give up his dreams of art school, Zach spends his days working a dead-end job and helping his needy sister care for her son. In his free time he surfs, draws and hangs out with his best friend, Gabe, who lives on the wealthy side of town. When Gabe’s older brother, Shaun, returns home, he is drawn to Zach’s selflessness and talent. Zach falls in love with Shaun while struggling to reconcile his own desires with the needs of his family.
In the cloistered world of competitive surf-lifesaving, an Australian hero is de-throned as the reigning champion by a younger, gay competitor. He embarks on a campaign of intimidation and bullying against the newcomer but is forced to confront his own repressed homoerotic desire. A booze-fueled night out brings jealousy, homophobic fear and unrequited lust to a tragic and shocking climax.
An uplifting family drama about a young girl breaking barriers, The Race has thirteen year old Mary Kensay (Niamh McGirr) challenge the expectations of her rural Northern Irish community by dreaming of becoming a racing driver. Her ambitions, however, are met with disdain from father Frank (Colm Meaney), as well as from her community when she enters a local karting rally. Undeterred by all obstacles she relentlessly pursues her goal in a story full of heart-warming energy, one which celebrates the empowerment of a young woman fulfilling her potential in the face of her community’s resistance.
Walkower / Walkover (1965) Jerzy Skolimowski, Aleksandra Zawieruszanka, Krzysztof Chamiec, Drama, Sport
Jerzy Skolimowski’s second feature (and first full-length narrative) cemented his status as a one-man Polish New Wave, with the rhythms of his films influenced as much by jazz and (his own) poetry as by more conventional storytelling. Skolimowski himself plays a dropout-turned-amateur boxer who’s distracted from his bouts when Teresa (Aleksandra Zawieruszanka), an old university friend, re-enters his life.