Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Greatest Football Related Movies You Need to Watch

Milos Markovic in Editorial, Soccer Specials 23 May 2017

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What is your favourite football related movie?

As continental championships slowly but surely draw to a close, football fans all over Europe and world are preparing for an uneventful summer.

Apart from 2018 World Cup qualifiers and U-21 European Championship in Poland, there seems to be no high-profile football fun reserved for the forthcoming summer. Transfer window ahead of us will not be enough of a football entertainment and in order to cut the time and make it go faster we have a recommendation for all of our football-loving friends.

Summer ahead of us is a great opportunity to get a cinematographic education and catch up on some exciting football-related movie titles that are bound to provide excitement through calm football summer.

We at SoccerNews.com have prepared a list of seven releases considered to be top class in football-related cinematography and titles you simply need to watch, at least once in your lifetime.

We are sure you will have already watched some of the movies we listed below, so feel free to join the conversation in the comments below and add any movies you think deserve to be mentioned and included in this kind of a list:

Goal

First released in United States in spring of 2006 and then in UK in September of the same year, Goal is a football drama directed by Danny Cannon.

Also known as Goal! The Dream Begins, this movie follows the football path of Santiago Munez, starred by Kuno Becker, a Los Angeles born young man from a rough background who is offered the chance to make it on the big stage with one of England’s top sides – Newcastle United.

Santiago’s path follows the struggles of a talented footballer with asthma through a difficult and dramatic path to prominence. Faced with a number of problems – private and professional – Santiago Munez makes a friend for a lifetime in former Newcastle United player Glen Foy, who becomes his guide, host and a trusted advisor.

Santiago ultimately succeeds in England, scores a winner in Newcastle’s 3-2 triumph over Liverpool to earn Magpies their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. The movie turns out to have a happy ending for Santiago who embraced his football dream overseas.

Goal movie launched the Goal! Trilogy which saw Santiago Munez’s story continue through the sequels Goal! II: Living the Dream and Goal! III Taking on the World, but the original movie remains most remembered and talked about.

Green Street Hooligans

Elijah Wood does not strike too many people as a tough guy, but his rough side was thoroughly exposed in 2005 movie titled Green Street Hooligans.

The movie follows the story of an American college student matt Buckner – a journalism major who is expelled from Harvard University after cocaine is discovered in his room – and his trip to England and his sister’s Shannon.

Immediately after arriving in London, Matt meets his brother-in-law’s brother Pete, a leader of the local football firm Green Street Elite (GSE), a notorious group that arranges fights after football matches with rivaling supporters.

Matt gets enchanted by this new world and is fighting his way against the group’s xenophobic attitude to become an important member alongside leader Pete. As Matt grows into a proper hooligan and helps the GSE reaffirm its status, his journalism career gets discovered and the ‘Yank’ gets exposed and thought of as a hated ‘journo’, bringing problems into the group.

Matt then struggles to restore trust as the GSE prepares to face their fierce rivals Millwall in the FA Cup in a violent and bloody brawl which leaves Pete dead after a conflict with old rival Tommy Hatcher.

The film received mixed reviews and critics upon release, but has grown to be an important cultural piece with great significance to this date.  

Fever Pitch

With Fever Pitch: A Fan’s Life as its base, Fever Pitch from 1997 is a Colin Firth film which deals with Arsenal’s First Division championship-winning season in 1988-89 from the perspective of the main protagonist’s romantic relationship.

Colin Firth’s character Paul Ashworth is a teacher in North London, who falls in love with a new teacher who joins his school and the movie follows their burgeoning romance simultaneously following Arsenal’s real life events from 1989.

The plot culminated in the final game of the season, against Liverpool on 26 May 1989, when a Michael Thomas’ last-minute goal gave Arsenal the 2-0 triumph they needed to lift the title.

Fever Pitch got an American remake in 2005, a release with the same title starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, but dealing with an entirely different sport – baseball.

The movie revolved around the 2004 World Series Boston Red Sox replacing Arsenal and this 2005 movie was titled The Perfect Catch in UK to avoid confusion.

The Football Factory

Written and directed by Nick Love, The Football Factory is a 2004 football drama which follows the exploits of a violent Chelsea hooligan firm.

Starring Danny Dyer as Tommy Johnson, a football supporter who spends his days drinking, using drugs and fighting, The Football Factory is a story about a disillusioned 29-year-old who lives for the weekend and football matches of his favourite club.

He tries to pull himself out of the life of a hooligan, but nightmare culminates as the thrill of the big matchup between Milwall and Chelsea leave his life in a mess. With Tommy beaten and ending up in a hospital with another firm member, the film ends in an unsurprising manner as Tommy decided to stick with his friends and remain at the firm.

The Football Factory movie was widely accepted as one of the most thrilling portrayal of the notorious hooligan scene in England.

It became a cultural phenomenon and continues to enjoy the iconic cinematographic status in the football-related movie subculture.

Mean Machine

A British comedy-drama from 2001, the Mean Machine movie follows former footballer Vinnie Jones in one of his most prominent movie roles.

The adaptation of the American film the Longest Yard, Mean Machine features some big cinematographic names of the time. Playing the character of Danny Meehan aka The Mewan Machine, Vinnie Jones is a former captain of the England national football team, who gets banned from football for life for match fixing.

Sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting police officers and reckless driving, Vinnie Jones is offered a job of the coach of the prison warden’s football team.

The Mean Machine rejects the proposal and sets up a team of inmates, who move to take on the wardens as Vinnie Jones’ character starts earning respect from inmates. As the Mean machine warms up in a match against prison workers, football takes centre stage and brings justice to unfairly treated prisoners who get their revenge on the football pitch.

The movie earned mixed reviews and was described as predictable, but we feel it is a fun way to spend some free time with friends.

United

A British television drama called United is based on the true story of Manchester United’s ‘Busby Babes’ and the aftermath of the 1958 Munich air disaster.

The film focuses on assistant manager Jimmy Murphy and legend Bobby Charlton, who was a young player at the time. Charlton’s introduction to the first-team opens the movie as Manchester United go on to earn success both home and abroad.

With manager Matt Busby convincing FA administration to allow Manchester United to play in the European Cup, the terrible tragedy occurred on the return flight from a math in Belgrade killing seven on the club’s players.

The movie deals with Bobby Charlton’s struggles to cope with the tragedy as he contemplates giving up football, until he has a visit from Jimmy Murphy and decided to play for United again.

Murhpy beats the odds as he takes charge of the team until Busby’s return from injuries, leading the team to the 1958 FA Cup Final.

Manchester United will be especially appreciative of this title, but there is another great movie dealing with their team. The Class of 92 is another documentary revolving around another highly successful generation of Manchester United players who rise to global prominence lead by six talented players lead by superstar David Beckham.

Escape to Victory

A cinematographic jewel created in 1982, Escape to Victory is a movie about Allied prisoners in the Second World War, who play an exhibition football match against a German team.

Directed by John Huston, the movie starred Michael Cane and Sylvester Stallone, whereas football legend Pele also had a prominent role in this title. The movie was received as a huge hit, especially as it starred several professional footballers like Bobby Moore, Osvalo Ardiles and Werner Roth.

Football plays a central role in the movie as the team of prisoners use a German propaganda stunt to fight for football glory and their own freedom.

The team’s football victory is of great symbolism to real life triumph over the Nazi Germany.

Escape to Victory was an utter theatrical success as well, a proper Hollywood movie with incredible soundtrack and professional photography, which were widely praised together with acting.


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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