The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)



Critic Consensus: Despite all the underdog sports movie conventions, the likable cast and lush production values make The Greatest Game Ever Played a solid and uplifting tale.

The Greatest Game Ever Played Videos & Photos

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: PG (for some brief mild language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Frost, Melissa Carter
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 11, 2006
Box Office: $15.3M
Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site


as Francis Ouimet

as Harry Vardon

as Arthur Ouimet

as Eddie Lowery

as Sarah Wallis

as Mary Ouimet

as Ted Ray

as Young Harry Vardon

as Black Top-Hatted Man

as Black Top-Hatted Man

as Black Top-Hatted Man

as Black Top-Hatted Man

as Embry Wallis

as Young Francis Ouimet

as Alec Campbell

as Young Sarah Wallace

as Young Louise Ouimet

as Young Raymond Ouimet

as Bernard Darwin

as Lord Northcliffe

as Lord Bullock

as Ted Hastings

as Club Secretary

as Stedman Comstock

as Phillip Wainwright

as Freddie Wallis

as Phillip Wainwright

as Mrs. Wallis

as Wilfred Reid

as Pub Pianist

as Frank Hoyt

as Walter Gibbs

as Walter Gibbs (as Tim...

as Soprano

as Baritone

as Robert Watson

as Assistant Pro

as John McDermott

as Northcliffe's Valet

as Jack Lowery

as Wallis' Butler

as Vardon's Caddy Tommy

as Comstock's Assistant

as Comstock's Assistant

as President Taft

as McDermott's Caddy

as Reid's Escort

as Reid's Escort

as Reid's Escort

as Raymond Ouimet

as Louise Ouimet

as Wallis' Chauffeur

as Office Worker

as Irish Crew Boss

as Gallery Member

as Girlfriend

as Vardon's Assistant

as Runner

as Gallery Member

as Copy Boy

as Copy Boy

as Passerby
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Greatest Game Ever Played

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (32)

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… | October 4, 2005
Village Voice
Top Critic

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… | October 3, 2005
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

The game is full of suspense, twists and turns. The characters are fascinating. The locations, sets and costume designs are all first-rate. The story is held back by the Disney formula, but is strong enough to overcome it.

Full Review… | September 7, 2014
Laramie Movie Scope

The characters model some wonderful behavior for youngsters%u2014things like tolerance, restraint, persistence, good manners, and good sportsmanship. Things that, sadly, seem to have gone the way of knickers.

Full Review… | June 16, 2009
Movie Metropolis

I don't want to just take their word for it! Show me what was so special about this guy's game!!

Full Review… | June 12, 2009
Cinema Signals

Greatest Game succeeds because it has enough history and authenticity to please golf enthusiasts while maintaining enough heart and human drama to appeal to the rest.

September 25, 2006
Christianity Today

Audience Reviews for The Greatest Game Ever Played


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 the 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.

Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer


Good film! Shia LeBeouf was good, and Stephen Dillane was perfectly cast.

Jameson Worley

Super Reviewer


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 story, 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.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

The Greatest Game Ever Played Quotes

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