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Shia LaBeouf, Stephen Dillane, Josh Flitter, Peyton List, Elias Koteas ... see more see more... , Marnie McPhail , Stephen Marcus , Peter Firth , Michael Weaver , James Paxton , Matthew Knight , Luke Askew , Len Cariou , Armand Laroche , Walter Massey , Tom Rack , Howard Ryshpan , Michael Sinelnikoff , Dawn Upshaw , James Bradford , Arthur Holden , Philip Pretten , Joe Jackson , Charles S. Doucet , Justin Ashforth , Robin Wilcock , George Asprey , Luke Kirby , Mike Nahrgang , Jonathan Higgins , Dennis St John , Brian Wrench , Max Kasch , Melissa Carter , Johnny Griffin , Steven Wallace Lowe , Marcel Jeannin , Danette Mackay , Nicolas Wright , Frank Fontaine , Peter Hurley , Gregory Terlecki , Amanda Jane Tilson , Jamie Merling , Eugenio Esposito , Scott Faulconbridge , Tim Peper , Marc James Beauchamp , Pierre Boudreau , Terry Reid , Stephen Spreekmeester , Patrick Whitebean , Melanie Beauline , Jeremy Thibodeau , Alexina Cowan , Nicole Braber , Kyle Macdougall , Jesse Rath , Domenico Salvaggio , James Scovone , Paul Cagelet

The true story of an upset victory that helped change the sport of golf forever provides the basis for this period drama. Francis Ouimet (played by Shia LaBeouf) was born in 1893 to a working-class fa... read more read more...mily in Massachusetts, and grew up fascinated by golf. However, at that time golf was considered a pastime of the wealthy and privileged, and British and Scottish players dominated the professional game. Ouimet's familial home was near the Brookline, MA, Country Club, and over the stern objections of his father, Francis got a job there as a caddy. Honing his skill in his spare time, Francis displayed a tremendous natural talent for the game and an understanding of its strategies, and 1913 he became the first amateur to play in the U.S. Open, held at the Brookline Country Club. Ouimet's presence was considered little more than a novelty at the time; Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane), a British champion with six tournament victories under his belt, was considered a shoo-in to win, with Ted Ray (Stephen Marcus) his only serious competition. However, Vardon, a fellow working-class boy who had overcome tuberculosis to become Britain's premier professional golfer, had more in common with Ouimet than anyone expected, and the tournament unexpectedly became a hard-fought competition between an established star and a promising unknown. Directed by Bill Paxton in his second directorial effort, The Greatest Game Ever Played also stars Elias Koteas as Francis' father, Josh Flitter as the ten-year-old boy who becomes Francis' caddy, and Peyton List as Sarah Wallis, Francis' sweetheart. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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83% liked it

62,102 ratings

Critics

62% liked it

109 critics

DVD Release Date: April 11, 2006

Stats: 2,332 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (2,332)


  • August 24, 2012
    The Greatest Game Ever Played is an excellent family-friendly, underdog, sports-themed film in the Disney tradition. I thoroughly enjoyed the cast; the young Shia LaBouf was perfect for the role. Sure, it's clichéd at times; the class conflict/social structure theme permeates th... read moree movie and is too heavy-handed at times.

    It's a period drama which may not be familiar to viewers not schooled in golfing history. In the early 1900s, golf was new to America and dominated by British champions such as Harry Vardon. Furthermore, the game belonged to the upper crust of society, those who inhabited exclusive country clubs. However, both Vardon and Francis Ouimet (LaBouf's character) arose from humble beginnings and signaled changes to come. It's predictable in the Disney tradition but positive and uplifting nonetheless. The golf itself is interesting, but this isn't Rocky in terms of sports excitement. The film even has several fine comedic moments, especially those featuring Ouimet's caddy, a plucky fifth-grader. In short, it's an enjoyable film, and you don't have to like golf to appreciate it.
  • April 13, 2012
    Good film! Shia LeBeouf was good, and Stephen Dillane was perfectly cast.
  • September 18, 2011
    Why had I not heard of this film before? It would have gone completely under my radar, if it weren't for me catching it on TV, when randomly zapping through some channels. I'm surprised it hasn't received more attention than it has, because it's quite a remarkable and inspiring s... read moretory, about a young boy from an unprivileged background, who blows everyone away as he defeats his own idol in the 1913 US Open. Being a golf player myself (or was at least, I haven't played for years now), it was very interesting learn a bit of its history, and to see what the game looked like at its humble beginnings, almost a century ago. Shia LaBeouf, who in my opinion is a very underrated actor, excels in his role and brings some of his finest acting to date. Better yet, it also reminded me of all the good times I've had during my golfing years, and made me wanna pick up my clubs again and head out on the grass fields. It's only handicap (pun intended), is its rigid adherence to the big book of sports-movie clichés: An underdog from a poor background, who fights against the odds. The unsupportive father, who thinks he's wasting his time and should get a "real job". The upper class snobs, who mocks his every breath, until they are forced to recognize his incredible talent. The list could be made very long. Other than that though, it's an uplifting true story that, however ironic it may sound, goes well below par in its final score.
  • October 27, 2010
    Cast: Tyler Brody Stein, Shia LaBeouf, Elias Koteas, Josh Flitter, Max Kasch, Stephen Dillane, Peter Firth, Peyton List, Jackie Burroughs, Luke Askew, Len Cariou

    Director: Bill Paxton

    Summary: With a pint-sized caddie (Josh Flitter) at his side, amateur golfer Francis Ouime... read moret (Shia LaBeouf) shocked the world at the 1913 U.S. Open when he outplayed defending British champ Harry Vardon in what was dubbed "The Greatest Game Ever Played." But Ouimet's rise to the top wasn't easy, with a hard-nosed father (Elias Koteas) and a hard-knock life to overcome.

    My Thoughts: "I didn't think I would ever enjoy a golf movie, but I did. I don't like the sport personally, I find it to be a complete bore. But my reasonings for choosing to watch this film was based on the fact that it stars Shia LaBeouf. He was quite good in this too. Francis's father believes they are but common folk so Francis should expect to be just that. He believes Francis is striving for something he is not meant to achieve based on what society has labeled their family as. So I think the father really wasn't against his dream, he just didn't want his son to feel any despair if he failed. Of course the story is predictable, but that shouldn't stop you from seeing it. I really liked the character Eddie played by Josh Flitter. He is a funny little kid. The acting is great and so is the directing by actor Bill Paxton. It is a golf film worth seeing.."
  • October 13, 2010
    I am not really into golf films
  • June 19, 2010
    True Story....
  • January 18, 2010
    I'm not a fan of Golf or most sports movies, but somehow this movie really did it for me. The story was well executed and Shia LaBeouf did a great job with his role. It's also a very beautiful looking film, especially for it being kid centric. If only more kid's movies could be l... read moreike this.
  • fb733768972
    January 13, 2010
    fb733768972
    Mesmorizing on many levels! This is one of disney's most mature films!
  • September 12, 2009
    Super good movie! I thought i gave it a shot and was well payed for! Very good acting and a excellent true life film. I might add that Golf movies are really not my cup of tea even though i love sport movies.

    Near the turn of the twentieth century, young Harry Vardon becomes a... read more champion golfer but learns that his amazing skill is no match for the class boundaries that exclude him from "gentlemanly" English society. A dozen years later, a young American, Francis Ouimet, fights against the same prejudice, as well as his own father's disdain, for a chance to participate in the U.S. Open against his idol -- Harry Vardon. The struggles of both men for acceptance provides the background for an amazing contest of skills.
  • November 7, 2008
    Harry Vardon: "Let me tell you something. I came here to win a trophy. And on the face of it Ted Ray or I should carry it off. Not for you, not for England, but for sheer bloody pride at being the best, *that's* why we do this. And if Mr. Ouimet wins tomorrow, it's because he'... read mores the best, because of who he is. Not who his father was, not how much money he's got, because of who he bloody is! And I'll thank you to remember that. And I'll thank you to show the respect a gentleman gives as a matter of course."

    The true story of an upset victory that helped change the sport of golf forever provides the basis for this period drama. Francis Ouimet (played by Shia LaBeouf) was born in 1893 to a working-class family in Massachusetts, and grew up fascinated by golf. However, at that time golf was considered a pastime of the wealthy and privileged, and British and Scottish players dominated the professional game. Ouimet's familial home was near the Brookline, MA, Country Club, and over the stern objections of his father, Francis got a job there as a caddy. Honing his skill in his spare time, Francis displayed a tremendous natural talent for the game and an understanding of its strategies, and 1913 he became the first amateur to play in the U.S. Open, held at the Brookline Country Club. Ouimet's presence was considered little more than a novelty at the time; Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane), a British champion with six tournament victories under his belt, was considered a shoo-in to win, with Ted Ray (Stephen Marcus) his only serious competition. However, Vardon, a fellow working-class boy who had overcome tuberculosis to become Britain's premier professional golfer, had more in common with Ouimet than anyone expected, and the tournament unexpectedly became a hard-fought competition between an established star and a promising unknown. Directed by Bill Paxton in his second directorial effort, The Greatest Game Ever Played also stars Elias Koteas as Francis' father, Josh Flitter as the ten-year-old boy who becomes Francis' caddy, and Peyton List as Sarah Wallis, Francis' sweetheart.

    Review
    Bill Paxton has taken the true story of the 1913 US golf open and made a film that is about much more than an extra-ordinary game of golf. The film also deals directly with the class tensions of the early twentieth century and touches upon the profound anti-Catholic prejudices of both the British and American establishments. But at heart the film is about that perennial favourite of triumph against the odds.

    The acting is exemplary throughout. Stephen Dillane is excellent as usual, but the revelation of the movie is Shia LaBoeuf who delivers a disciplined, dignified and highly sympathetic performance as a working class Franco-Irish kid fighting his way through the prejudices of the New England WASP establishment. For those who are only familiar with his slap-stick performances in "Even Stevens" this demonstration of his maturity is a delightful surprise. And Josh Flitter as the ten year old caddy threatens to steal every scene in which he appears.

    A old fashioned movie in the best sense of the word: fine acting, clear directing and a great story that grips to the end - the final scene an affectionate nod to Casablanca is just one of the many pleasures that fill a great movie.

Critic Reviews


Mark Holcomb
October 4, 2005
Mark Holcomb, Village Voice

Ouimet versus Vardon probably was the greatest golf game ever played, and Paxton and Frost do it justice, but I wouldn't sit through another simulated hole of it for Tiger Woods's salary. Full Review

Richard Roeper
October 3, 2005
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper

I know it's all about how well they construct the journey, but I just kind of felt like, okay, we know exactly what's going to happen here. Full Review

Stephen Hunter
September 30, 2005
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

[An] overloaded movie. Full Review

Susan Walker
September 30, 2005
Susan Walker, Toronto Star

As sports movies go, it doesn't get more exciting than this. Full Review

Moira MacDonald
September 30, 2005
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

A sweet-natured, prettily photographed and at times genuinely exciting drama, bogged down by some thinly written characters and syrupy music. Full Review

Ruthe Stein
September 30, 2005
Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle

The film will have to settle for a bogey rather than a par. Full Review

Roger Moore
September 30, 2005
Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

A jazzy, snazzy crowd-pleasing sports drama. Full Review

Lisa Rose
September 30, 2005
Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger

The Greatest Game Ever Played may not be quite as superlative as its title, but it spins an engaging tale of sports triumph. Full Review

Kyle Smith
September 30, 2005
Kyle Smith, New York Post

The ever-swelling musical score would embarrass a Metamucil commercial.

Jack Mathews
September 30, 2005
Jack Mathews, New York Daily News

As Ouimet strides toward the 18th green on the last day of the Open, it's impossible not to feel the crowd's excitement. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by RottenTomatoes.com

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Facts


    • Harry Vardon: How'd you sleep?
    • Ted Ray: Like a baby. Woke up every two hours and cried.
    • Eddie Lowery: Let it roll and it'll seek the hole.
    • Eddie Lowery: You gotta settle down now Francis.
    • Francis Ouimet: Yeah? And how we gonna do that?
    • Eddie Lowery: You're just gonna have to play better... Keep your head down.
    • Freddie Wallis: Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The Greatest Game... : Watch Free on TV


The Greatest Game Ever Played Trivia


  • Shia LaBeouf lied during the audition for Greatest Game Ever Played claiming that he does play golf.  Answer »
  • In which movie does Shia LaBeouf play golf?  Answer »
  • In the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played, what is the name of the actor who plays the main character Frances?  Answer »
  • In The Greatest Game Ever Played, how old was Francis Ouimet's caddie, Eddie Lowery?  Answer »

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