From Eddie the Eagle to Rocky: Five of the best silver screen underdogs

God loves a trier, and never has that been more true than in the world of cinema. To celebrate the film release of Britain’s favourite dark horse, Eddie the Eagle, here’s our top five underdogs in film.

By Lauren Mitchell

Rocky Balboa, The Rocky Franchise (1976-2015)


He???s the reason you can???t run up a set of steps without yelling ???Adriaaaaaaaan??? in your head ??? of course he was going to be top of our list. And don???t forget Rocky Balboa???s triumph didn???t come until the second movie, proving you don???t always have to come out top to be the champion.

Ed Wood, Ed Wood (1994)

Ed Wood

A Tim Burton cult favourite, Ed Wood is about??? well, Ed Wood. A cross-dressing, 1950s American filmmaker who was once named the Worst Director of All Time. Ed didn???t let low budgets and shoddy productions dampen his celluloid dreams, he made those movies anyway and became a cult film hero. Hats off to you, Ed.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team, Cool Runnings (1993)

Cool Runnings

???Nuff people say they know they can't believe. Jamaica we have a bobsled team.??? Although Cool Runnings was a fictionalised version of Jamaica???s entry in the the 1988 Winter Games (the same year as Eddie the Eagle made his debut as an Olympian), we all fell in love with the team???s resilience and their self belief reminds us to always finish the race??? even if you have to walk the last part. 

Average Joes, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

Dodge Ball

Possibly Vince Vaughn???s finest film, Dodgeball is a modern day David and Goliath tale, the little guy triumphing over the big guy??? which is kind of funny, seeing as Vince Vaughn is so big and Ben Stiller is so teeny weeny. With a motto like ???failure is an option, but let???s try and learn from our mistakes??? these guys were born to lose.   

Eddie Edwards, Eddie The Eagle (2016)

Eddie the Eagle

Eddie had everything against him: his eyes were so bad he had to wear thick glasses that fogged up when he was jumping, he was entirely self-funded and was heavier than any other competitor, but he chased his dream all the way to Calgary. Like Team Jamaica, Eddie represented the true Olympic spirit ??? an athlete who wants to compete to the best of their ability for their own sake, regardless of their chances of winning.