10 best Soviet films about sports

Thanks to the success of the Russian films “Legend No. 17”, “Shadow Boxing”, “Ice” and “Moving Up”, the audience became more and more interested in the plots of sports films. However, this applies to modern realities. And what did they watch in the USSR? We present to your attention a list of the best Soviet films about sports.

Free kick (1963)

This sports comedy tells the story of Comrade Kukushkin, a savvy rural head of a livestock complex. He receives an assignment from the leadership to raise the authority of sports in the countryside.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

In order to cope with the task without effort, the hero decides to invite real athletes to the Spartakiad and pass them off as machine operators who allegedly go in for sports in their free time. And everything would be fine, but Kukushkin’s cunning plan was declassified by a female correspondent who came to interview the winners.

Starring :
Mikhail Pugovkin, Lilia Aleshnikova, Vladimir Treshchalov, Vladimir Vysotsky

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
12+

Seven Old Men and One Girl (1968)

This Soviet sports film is about young coach Elena Velichko. After graduating from the Institute of Physical Education, the girl is determined to train promising athletes.

But everything does not happen the way the heroine wants: she is assigned to work with older men attending the “health group”. Of course, her wards do not look like healthy athletes, and therefore every now and then they get into funny situations.

Cast:
Svetlana Savelova, Valentin Smirnitsky, Anatoly Adoskin

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
0+

Vertical (1966)

Long before offering Vladimir Vysotsky a role in the series “The meeting place cannot be changed”, Stanislav Govorukhin invited the bard to play the role of one of the key characters in the sports drama “Vertical”. The plot is based on the story of climbers who set out to climb to the top of an unconquered Georgian peak.

A group led by Vitaly Lomov starts climbing to the top. The radio operator, who remained in the camp, receives a message about the cyclone. He gives the climbers the order to get off the route. However, the athlete who received the radiogram decides to hide the information received from other climbers.

Cast:
Vladimir Vysotsky, Margarita Kosheleva, Gennady Voropaev

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
0+

Tigers on Ice (1971)

The plot of this children’s sports comedy revolves around a player of the yard hockey team named Ignat. The boy trains hard, but on the eve of important competitions it turns out that he will not be able to take part in the tournament, and there is simply no one to replace him.

The hero of this film about young Soviet athletes is helped by his twin sister Zina, who is engaged in figure skating. The girl skates well and has a strong-willed character. Can she replace her brother and help his team win?

Starring :
Pavel Ananiev, Leopold Begun, Natasha Belous

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2

Age restrictions:
6+

Sparrow on Ice (1983)

The protagonist of the film is a boy named Sasha Vorobyov. From a young age, the hero learned a simple sports truth: it is impossible to achieve success without diligence. The boy is refused to be taken to the hockey team due to insufficient physical fitness.

However, the hero does not give up and continues to work hard on himself. Will an experienced coach be able to believe in a novice athlete and see in the boy the makings of a good hockey player? You can learn about this by watching a children’s comedy.

Cast:
Vladislav Galliulin, Oleg Potapov, Vytautas Tomkus, Leonid Yarmolnik

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
6+

Grandmaster (1972)

Sergei Khlebnikov was fond of chess from childhood. After the tragic death of his father, the hero became extremely withdrawn and almost unsociable, and his style of play changed. The athlete did not set himself grandiose plans, and winning was not an end in itself for him.

Due to increased emotionality and lack of practicality, Sergei never won major tournaments. But one day Elena appears in his life, who helps the chess player develop a new tactic.

Cast:
Andrey Myagkov, Larisa Malevannaya, Emmanuil Vitorgan

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+

Invincible (1983)

Director Yuri Boretsky, who made the film, managed to organically combine history, adventure and elements of sports in it. The picture is based on real events and inspired by the life story of Anatoly Kharlampiev, the creator of sambo wrestling. The scriptwriter of one of the best Soviet films about sports was Pavel Lungin.

The plot is based on the story of the life of the former Red Army soldier Andrey Khromov. In the 20s of the twentieth century, the hero comes to Central Asia in order to study local martial arts. Based on the knowledge gained, he creates his own direction of wrestling – sambo.

Cast:
Andrei Rostotsky, Khamza Umarov, Nurmukhan Zhanturin

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
12+

Parachutists (1984)

The talented athlete Zinaida Gostilova spent two long years working towards her cherished goal – to win the Grand Alpine Cup. Thanks to hard training and willpower, she is among the leaders of the upcoming competitions.

However, unexpected news ruins all plans. During the extinguishing of a forest fire, a Soviet helicopter crashes, on board of which are the people closest to the heroine – Uncle Matvey and beloved Alexei.

Cast:
Alexandra Yakovleva, Boris Nevzorov, Elena Elanskaya

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:
12+

Everything is decided by the moment (1979)

Nadia Privalova is a 15-year-old nugget swimmer who grew up by the sea and learned to swim with dolphins. The provincial girl was noticed by the capital coach and invited to his team.

At local competitions, Nadia breaks records with ease. However, in the international arena, the swimmer cannot immediately show herself – the heroine is afraid of crowded stands.

Cast:
Galina Belyaeva, Olga Ageeva, Boris Zaydenberg, Natalya Fateeva, Alexander Abdulov, Alexander Demyanenko, Anatoly Papanov

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
12+

Dolly (1988)

The perestroika drama by Isaac Friedberg gives a very biting answer to the question of what happens to a professional athlete who is forced to plunge into everyday life due to an injury. The main character of the film is a 16-year-old gymnast who cannot come to terms with her new status as an ordinary schoolgirl.

Tanya Serebryakova has been accustomed to fighting for a place in the sun since childhood. Therefore, once in an ordinary high school, the heroine sees rivals in classmates, a teacher and even parents. This picture was one of the last films about the sport of the Soviet era.

Cast:
Svetlana Zasypkina, Irina Metlitskaya, Dmitry Zubarev, Vladimir Menshov

Country:
USSR

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+

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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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