Looking for an inspiring family night movie? Here’s a relatively new one that I just discovered. This is a “feel good” movie that will have you on the edge of your seat wondering how it will end! Best of all, it’s true! The Spirit of the Game tells the true story of American missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who found a unique way to connect with Aussies down under and get them interested in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In the 1950s, a group of missionaries, dubbed the “Mormon Yankees,” were allowed by their leaders to play basketball as part of an exhibition team. Amazingly, the team played against the Australian Olympic basketball team to help those players hone their skills, as well as other teams, even some prisoners. Elder Loren C. Dunn is one of the more famous Mormons who played as part of this team.
I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. A fun highlight of the movie shows the main character on his way to Australia to serve, meeting Elder John Groberg, at the airport. Elder Groberg is the missionary who tells his story in the movie, The Other Side of Heaven. In The Spirit of the Game, you might recognize Elder Condie’s dad, played by Kevin Sorbo, the actor who plays the atheist professor in God’s Not Dead. I like that this movie has the gentle, hazy, happy feeling of the 1950s. So if you want a meaningful movie that shows missionary work in action as well as good sportsmanship, check it out! You can rent it here on YouTube, or here on Amazon Prime video. I think your whole family will enjoy it! We watched it as a whole family recently and the kids stayed the whole time to see it. (They sometimes get bored by the movies I pick and ask to go do something else.) The clip below shows a brief explanation from one of the real players on the team.