Showtime Sports Documentary Films Presents McEnroe – An In-Depth Look at a Tennis Legend
NEW YORK – June 8, 2022 – SHOWTIME Sports Documentary Films announced today McENROEa gripping and powerful film that delves deep into the life of John McEnroe, one of the greatest tennis players of all time who rose to No. 1 in the world for four consecutive years, while battling intense bouts of perfectionism and self-doubt. The documentary will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, June 10 and will be available Friday, September 2 on all streaming platforms and on demand for SHOWTIME subscribers, before making its on-air debut on Sunday, September 4. September at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The film hits theaters in the UK on Friday July 15.
To watch and share the trailer, visit: https://s.sho.com/McEnroe.
McENROE takes viewers inside the mind of one of the most controversial tennis players in the history of the sport as he walks through the streets of New York City on a single night, recounting his life in images of unpublished archives. From his upbringing in Douglaston, NY, to a Wimbledon semi-final as an 18-year-old qualifier, to his only year at Stanford University winning the NCAA men’s tennis championships and his professional career at the Temple of fame where he won seven Grand Slam singles titles. , the documentary covers everything inside and outside the lines.
“Greatness is a combination of things,” McEnroe believes at the start of the film. “You look back and say, ‘Well, somebody gave me the ability to do something better than other people. You have to recognize it and put yourself in the game. Especially when you are alone. And I haven’t done a good enough job of that. In fact, I did a shitty job. I’m the greatest player that’s ever played this game, at this point. Why doesn’t it feel so amazing? I felt like I was doomed. »
McEnroe’s journey to the top of the sport wasn’t just championships and accolades, there were also losses and heartaches along the way. And while every sports icon needs a rival, McEnroe lost his own when Björn Borg quit the sport aged 26 following a devastating loss to McEnroe at the US Open. Tennis Championship in 1981.
“The complexity, intensity and depth of John’s multi-faceted personality makes this film transcend sports documentary to character study,” said Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Events Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “John McEnroe is not only a great tennis player; he is a true icon whose career has created cultural touchstones and captured the fascination of the world. McENROE is the latest addition to a growing list of compelling, must-watch unscripted programs on SHOWTIME. We are proud to present these great films that tell culturally relevant stories about topics at the intersection of sport, culture and society.
McENROE features interviews with Borg, tennis icon Billie Jean King, her doubles partner Peter Fleming and rock stars Chrissie Hynde and Keith Richards. While testament to its impact on sports and wider culture, it is McEnroe’s children and his wife Patty Smyth who provide a deep level of intimacy and take the film beyond the sports biopic and into the realm deeply confessional.
“That singular drive is part of what made John great,” said younger brother Patrick McEnroe, who often sits next to John in the commentary booth at Grand Slam tennis tournaments. “And also, some of what may have gotten in the way.”
McENROE is the third theatrical documentary written and directed by Douglas (Warriors, The edge). The film is produced by Sylver Entertainment with producers Victoria Barrell, Paddy Kelly and Anna Godas for Dogwoof and produced by Simon Lazenby, Oli Harbottle and Gary Swain.
“Everyone has an opinion on John McEnroe,” Douglas said. “In making this film, I was interested in creating something intimate and unexpected. I had to get inside his head and find out how he thought. To reach as many people as possible, this film needed to tap into the universal themes of connection, purpose, and love. What develops sometimes feels deeply confessional, as if John is questioning himself.
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