So far, croquet doesn’t have its “The Natural,” a movie that turns its beauties into myth, but the sport does make regular appearances in pop culture:
“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (1865) — For his surreal novel, Lewis Carroll invented a wacky version of the game, in which the mallets are flamingos and the balls are hedgehogs.
“North by Northwest” (1959) — The sport makes a brief but crucial appearance early in the Alfred Hitchcock movie. When Cary Grant first glimpses villainous Martin Landau, Landau is playing croquet. How do we know he’s a sociopath? Because he’s playing it alone.
“Heathers” (1988) — The joke is that the title characters, vicious high school tyrants, play a genteel sport while plotting their next evil moves. (The TV series adaptation, scrapped last month by Paramount Network because of its connection to school violence, reportedly includes a bloody croquet sequence.)
“Human Croquet” (1997) — The early novel by Kate Atkinson, who would later write the blockbuster “Life After Life,” uses the sport as a metaphor: Some of us are balls, rolling our way around the course of life, and some of us are stuck being wickets.
“Hip Hop Quotables” (2003) — Ludacris brags that he has a “filthy mouth” in the song from “Chicken-n-Beer,” so it’s possible he’s not really talking about the sport when he raps, “Catch me in your backyard, playin’ croquet.”
“The Theory of Everything” (2014) — The late Stephen Hawking’s bitterness about his ALS diagnosis is demonstrated when his wife begs him to play and he smacks his way through the course in a matter of minutes.