Arli$$ picks his favs

An AP wire story has Robert Wuhl — best known for his role as Arli$$ on the HBO show with the same name from the 1990s — pick his favorite football movies. He is also well known as the whacky bench coach in “Bull Durham.”

Wuhl also votes on the Academy Awards, is an Emmy winner and wrote a few Academy Award shows.

‘Tis the season for the Super Bowl so I will post a few of Wuhl’s favorite football movies in tragedy, comedy and his all time favorite.

 “Brian’s Song” (1971): The movie that made men cry as much as women. The relationship between Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and the doomed Brian Piccolo (a pre-“Godfather” James Caan) is the stuff classics are made of. Plus, you’ve got the great Jack Warden as Coach George Halas, and that Michele LeGrand score.

“Heaven Can Wait” (1978): Warren Beatty’s remake of “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” is not just the best football romantic comedy but one of the best romantic comedies period. Changing the lead character from a boxer to a quarterback allows Beatty and co-writer Elaine May to dish out stinging satire about pro football. Great support from Dyan Cannon, Julie Christie, Charles Grodin, Jack Warden (again), James Mason and co-director Buck Henry. A memorable score by Dave Grusin.

“North Dallas Forty” (1979): A film that nestles between comedy and tragedy. Ted Kotcheff directed real-life Dallas Cowboy Peter Gent’s story about the “real world” of pro football, including drugs, sex, greed, competition and self-preservation. Nick Nolte, Mac Davis (excellent, really), the great Charles Durning, and G.D. Spradlin as a Tom Landry-esque coach help put this film at the top of my list.

I myself know only baseball movies and a few good basketball ones. Plus most of these are too old for me to remember.

Feel free to chime in on what you think is a great football movie. I left some of his picks off this blog.

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