Tennis Movies

Tennis Technique (1932)… From Tennis champion Bill Tilden gives two tennis players tips on the proper grip, footwork, body position, and other ways to improve their tennis game.

Love, Honor and Behave (1938)… Wayne Morris, Priscilla Lane, John Litel, Thomas Mitchell. A college tennis star gives up the game for love.

Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951)… Claire Trevor, Sally Forrest, Carleton Young, Robert Clarke, Kenneth Patterson. Dominant mother pushes gifted daughter to be the best tennis player in the world. Worth seeing for the premise but could've been done better. Ida Lupino (who also directed) and Robert Ryan have cameos during the big match. Adapted from a John R. Tunis story.

Pat and Mike (1952)… Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Aldo Ray, William Ching, Jim Backus, Carl Switzer, Chuck Connors. Comedy about a sensational female athlete who is managed by a hard-nosed sports promoter. Based on the Ruth Gordon/Garson Kanin Oscar-nominated screenplay. Babe Didrikson and Betty Hicks among others have cameos.

The Christian Licorice Store (1971)…  Jeff Bridges, Maud Adams, Gilbert Roland, Allan Arbus. From A tennis champ falls in with the Hollywood crowd, finds himself being corrupted by the life in the fast lane. Pro tennis player Butch Bucholtz appears.

Little Mo (1978)… Glynnis O'Connor, Michael Lerned, Anne Baxter, Claude Akins, Martin Milner, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielson. TV-movie about teenage tennis star Maureen Connolly's battle with cancer. Moving story but not much action on the courts.

Players (1979)… Ali McGraw, Dean-Paul Martin, Maximilian Schell, Pancho Gonzalez, Steve Guttenberg, Melissa Prophet. Tennis pro falls for two women and has to choose between them while playing at Wimbledon. Told in flashbacks, the story is of a rags-to-riches career of Dean-Paul Martin. The script is so poor that even excellent production, cast and tennis scenes can't help it. A long list of tennis pros including John McInroe and Dennis Ralston appear as themselves.

Racquet (1979)… Bert Convy, Edie Adams, Lynda Day George, Phil Silvers, Bobby Riggs, Susan Tyrell, Bruce Kimmel. Beverly Hills tennis pro frolics with the ladies and tries to raise money for his business. Bjorn Borg appears as himself. Pass again.

Spring Fever (1983)… Susan Anton, Frank Converse, Jessica Walter, Stephen Young, Carling Bassett. Below average story of young tennis player on and off the court during the women's tennis finals. Nothing special here.

Second Serve (1986)… Vanessa Redgrave, Martin Balsam, William Russ, Alice Krige, Kerrie Keane, Reni Santoni, Louise Fletcher, Nina Van Pallandt, Jeff Corey. Pretty good account of transsexual tennis pro Renee Richards. Redgrave convincingly plays both sides of the average male tennis star who has an operation and tries to play on the female tour. TV-movie is based on Richards' autobiography.

Jocks (1987)… Scott Strader, Mariska Hargitay, R.G. Armstrong, Richard Roundtree, Perry Lang, Christopher Lee, Donald Gibb, Stoney Jackson, Katherine Kelly Lang, Adam Mills, Trinidad Silva, Tom Shadyac, Christopher Murphy. Coach Bettlebom takes a rag-tag college tennis team to Las Vegas for a tournament. Forgettable teen comedy. Good tennis scenes though.

Nobody’s Perfect (1989)… Chad Lowe, Gail O'Grady, Patrick Breen, Kim Flowers, Eric Bruskotter, Carmen More, Todd Schaefer, Annie Korzen, Mariann Aalda. A college freshman tennis player falls in love with a female a tennis player and gets kicked off the tennis team when she rejects him.

SMASH (1990)… Måns Herngren, Svante Grundberg, Peter Wahlbeck, Felix Herngren. Swedish TV-comedy about four average tennis players.

The Break (1995)… Martin Sheen, Rae Dawn Chong, Vincent Van Patten, Valerie Perrine. A banned tennis pro must coach a teenager in order to make good on a gambling debt. ESPN tennis commentators Fred Stolle and Cliff Drysdale appear as themselves. [Van Patten, who also co-wrote the script, is a former tennis pro.]

When Billie Beat Bobby (2001)… Holly Hunter, Ron Silver. The historic 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. TV-movie.

Wimbledon (2004)… Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany. A British pro tennis player has lost his ambition and has fallen to 157 in the rankings. He then meets a young rising female player who helps him focus on Wimbledon.

Tennis, Anyone? (2005)… Donal Logue, Jason Isaacs, Kenneth Mitchell, Stephen Dorff, Kirk Fox. From Two mid-level Hollywood losers attempt to find redemption, revenge and meaning in their lives through celebrity tennis tournaments.

Gary the Tennis Coach (2007)… Seann William Scott, Randy Quaid, Brando Eaton, Leonor Varela, Brent Anderson. From An over-zealous high school janitor takes on the task of coaching a group of lovable misfits to the Nebraska state tennis championship, overcoming their motley backgrounds in the process.

Terre Battue (2014)… Olivier Gourmet, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi ,Charles Mérienne.
The story of a middle-aged man who struggles after losing his job and his wife.  But he finds new meaning managing his 11-year-old son's tennis career. French.

7 Days (2015)… Andy Samberg, Kit Harington. Tennis champions Aaron Williams (Samberg) and Charles Poole (Harington) have a match at Wimbledon in 2001 that lasts for seven days. Filmed in a fictional documentary-style. Davis Copperfield, John McEnroe, Jim Lampley, Chris Everett, Serena Williams have cameos.

Battle of the Sexes (2017)… Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Elizabeth Shue, Jessica McNamee. The true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. This was a nationally televised match at the Houston Astrodome, with King (29) and Riggs (55) in which King won in three straight sets that is considered a milestone in the acceptance of women's tennis. Many other "battle of the sexes" were played including Riggs and Margaret Court that same year and one in 1992 between Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova.

Borg vs. McEnroe (2017)… Sevrrir Gudnason, Shia LeBeouf, Tells the story of the rivalry between tennis’ biggest stars of the 1980s - Björn Borg and John McEnroe.

The Tiny Life of Butcher Duke (2019)… Jon Michael Simpson, Gary Teague, Mike Akel, Chad Bailey Werner. A washed-up tennis player/coach gets a chance at a rematch to win a mobile home. Comedy.

King Richard (2021)… Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton. Venus and Serena Williams become stars after the coaching from their father Richard.



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