Released in 1999, but in some ways the first real football movie. Why? They play real football. Other than the primary actors, the on-screen players were high school stars drawn from around Texas. After a two week training camp, complete with tryouts and playbooks, the on-field sequences were shot as full-speed games.
The results put Varsity Blues, an otherwise fun but unremarkable high school romp, at the top of the football movie pile. Running backs pinball through the air on dive plays, receivers tap-dance down sidelines to haul in fingertip passes and James Van Der Beek, uniquely in movie history, looks at home in pads. Bonus points awarded for synching up the film's hardest hitting sequence with classic football-anthem AC/DC's Thunderstruck.