Charming Amateur Challenges Elitism in "The Greatest Game"
- Thursday, September 29, 2005
Despite many handicaps and some powerful demons of elitism ever on his back, Francis displays courage, spirit, heroism and humility at this world-class event and fights terrific odds to not only make a name for himself, but to inspire a subsequent century of ordinary people to greatness.
“The Greatest Game Ever Played” transcends golf, though golf lovers will be amazed at the sport’s olden days, including the small wooden clubs, the layout of the short holes, the manual scoreboard, the golfers swinging with pipes in their mouths, the terrible conditions of the greens and fairways and the play not being canceled even during torrential rain.
Director Bill Paxton doesn't miss a chance to show how difficult it was to break social barriers in both Britain and America at the turn of the century. He uses a good balance of tension and humor to keep audiences enthralled, and he utilizes special effects to help audiences feel the challenges of the game. Often we follow the ball as if we were riding it, careering behind it or seeing its point of view. And when British champion Harry Vardon surveys the crowds before he plays, he makes them all disappear in his mind before swinging. Paxton also uses symbolism well, including a recurring vision of four dark-clad, high-hat elders who represent the disapproval and elitism of the game’s gatekeepers.
Families will thoroughly enjoy “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” a true Disney classic that will prompt discussion on the unfairness, prejudice, and wrongful exclusivity of golf and other highbrow sports, as well as the power of the brave individuals who challenge the system.
AUDIENCE: Adults, teens and children
- Drugs/Alcohol: Alcohol portrayed in gentlemen’s’ clubs and lots of smoking portrayed in clubs and on golf course! (mostly pipe-smoking)
- Language/Profanity: Three to four light obscenities
- Sex/Nudity: None
- Violence: None
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