Bowling may not be the most common central plot element in the movies, but this all-American institution has been an essential addition to many great stories. From Grease 2 where the T-Birds and Pink Ladies spend their down time playing the lanes (and singing and dancing down them) to Mr. Wonderful where a divorced electrician finds his way to a surprising love while on a mission to fulfill his dream of owning a bowling alley – you never know what can come from the love of bowling, or what may happen on the lanes. Here’s a list of some of our favorite films with a bowling angle:

Bowling Movies

The Big Lebowski (1998) – When ne’er do well bowling aficionado Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is mistaken for a cantankerous millionaire of the same name, he finds himself in the center of a kidnapping drama. The Dude would much rather spend his time working on his bowling game with a drink in hand, but fate repeatedly twists him back into the tangle. The Dude and his band of comedic bowling buddies embark on a series of misadventures as they evade dangerous thugs, police and the real Jeffrey Lebowski.  Though he was never seen personally bowling in the film, The Dude was such an iconic personality that The Big Lebowski has often been credited for launching a renewed interest in bowling – and White Russians.

Kingpin (1996) – A bowling prodigy until a tragic run-in with disgruntled peers cost him the use of his bowling hand, Roy Munson sees an opportunity for a second-chance at fame and fortune when he meets Ishmael Boorg. Ishmael is an Amish man with a secret, forbidden love of bowling, and Roy thinks this may be his ticket to a tournament prize, as well as a chance for revenge on his former rival, Ernie McCracken. If there were a bowling angle to the classic Cinderella story, this would be it.

A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004) – For the more serious bowling fan, A League of Ordinary Gentlemen is a documentary centered on four real-life pro bowlers making an effort to modernize and revitalize the classic sport during its 1990s drop in widespread popularity.

Alley Cats Strike (2000) – Sports rivalry is the catalyst to heated competition between feuding high schools in this Disney Channel original movie. After a year-long series of tense athletic clashes, the city championships all come down to a matchup between the two schools’ bowling teams. Personal differences and teen dramas ensue as the desire to declare ultimate victory pits the teams against both each other and themselves.

However you like to celebrate your love of bowling – with a laugh, a fist pump, or a mission – make sure you get in the game yourself and visit us after the movie is over!