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Volume 21 No. 6
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Tennis in the movies

Shia LaBeouf portrays a fiery John McEnroe in the Swedish film “Borg/McEnroe.”

Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951)

Starring: Claire Trevor, Sally Forrest, Carleton G. Young, Robert Clarke and Kenneth Patterson
Distributor: RKO Radio Pictures
Box office: NA
The plot: Loosely based on the 1930 novel “American Girl” by sports fiction author John R. Tunis.

The Christian Licorice Store (1971)
Starring: Beau Bridges and Maud Adams
Distributor: National General Pictures
Box office: NA
The plot: A tennis champion (Bridges) falls in love with the Hollywood scene.

Players (1979)
Starring: Ali MacGraw, Dean Paul Martin, Maximilian Schell and Steve Guttenberg
From the tennis world: John McEnroe, Ilie Nastase, Guillermo Vilas and Pancho Gonzalez
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Box office: $4,896,094
The plot: A young tennis player (Martin) has an affair with an older woman (MacGraw).

Nobody’s Perfect (1990)
Starring: Chad Lowe and Gail O’Grady
Distributor: Moviestore Entertainment
Box office: NA
The plot: A college tennis player (Lowe) is kicked off the men’s team and dresses up as a girl to join the women’s team and be closer to his female crush (O’Grady).

The Break (1995)
Starring: Vincent Van Patten, Rae Dawn Chong, Martin Sheen, Ben Monk, Valerie Perrine and Betsy Russell
Distributor: Trimark Pictures
Box office: NA
The plot: A depressed and destitute tennis player (Van Patten, who himself was ranked No. 26 on the ATP Tour in 1982), banned from professional competition for punching a player during a televised match, agrees to coach a bookie’s son (Monk), who wants to turn pro.

Wimbledon (2004)
Starring: Paul Bettany, Kirsten Dunst, Sam Neill
From the tennis world: John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Mary Carillo and John Barrett. Pat Cash was the tennis adviser on set and trained the actors.
Distributor: Universal Pictures; Dimension Films
Box office: $41,512,007
The plot: A romance between a rising tennis star (Dunst) and an aging midline star (Bettany) who is trying for one last shot at being champion at Wimbledon is viewed as a distraction by the girl’s father (Neill).

Tennis, Anyone ...? (2005)
Starring: Donal Logue, Paul Rudd and Danny Trejo
Distributor: Fireside Entertainment
Box office: NA
The plot: Two midlevel Hollywood losers (Rudd and Logue) attempt to find redemption, revenge and meaning in their lives through celebrity tennis tournaments.

Break Point (2014)
Distributed by: Broad Green Pictures
Starring: Jeremy Sisto, David Walton, Amy Smart, Joshua Rush, Vincent Ventresca, Adam DeVine and J.K. Simmons
Box office: NA
The plot: Two estranged brothers (and former tennis partners) (Sisto and Walton) reunite and decide to try and play in a grand slam tournament.

(Sept. 8 in Sweden; spring 2018 in U.S.)
Distributor: Neon (U.S.); SF Studios (International)
Starring: Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, Tuva Novotny and Robert Emms
The plot: Swedish biographical film focusing on the rivalry between Björn Borg and John McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, culminating with their encounter in the men’s singles final.

Battle of the Sexes (Sept. 22)
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Austin Stowell and Sarah Silverman
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
The plot: Based on the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

NA: Not available