The World Cup is at the front door. One month will be looking for the best team in the most important side thing in the world that is not for many, but most important. Days are when even those who are not big football fans, for various reasons, watch matches and monitor events in the host country (this year, this is Russia). As a warm-up for the hot football days, Goodtalking brings you a team of 11 football movies worth seeing. Documentary and feature films, titles associated with the big game and (or) the world of football fans. Some of them show how important a soccer game is to society, or how it affects political, social and any other turmoil (the soccer match was a trigger for the short-term conflict between El Salvador and Honduras). The films on the list of recommendations are also for lovers of the seventh art whose football is not an important life interest. The selected films are:
1st Victory in Victory – 1981
DIRECTOR: John Houston
“Escape to victory” is one of the most famous football films. Inspired by the Hungarian film “Two Halves in Hell” by Zoltan Fabry in 1961, Houston showed that football is often more than a game, a means of propaganda. The story of the film begins when a group of captured Allied soldiers approaches a match against the football team of Nazi Germany. The Nazis need the game to show that they are superior on the football field as the soldiers plan to take advantage of the escape game. Germans are favorites, they look invincible, but a crew composed of detainees has their own …
Houston gathered a very interesting acting team. Max Von Sydow, Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone (the hero of the match – an American who does not really know much about football but defends the key ball at the end of the film) are the main actors of the acting. There is no end to it – the interest and value of the film are the then football stars that appeared in the movie (Bobby Moore, former coach Dinamo Osvaldo Ardilles, Paul Van Himst, Kazmierz Deynn and many of the greatest footballers in Pele history). Funny, for some in parts excessively pathetic “Escape to Victory” is a compulsory film lector not only for football fans. If nothing else is due to the acting team and a few superbly directed scenes, the most memorable moment of Pele’s scissors, which German Von Steiner (Von Sydow) must be entangled with.
You can see the scene of the football filmmakers HERE
2. TWO ESCOBARA (The Two Escobar) – (2010)
Directors: Jeff & Michael Zimbalist
Of course, we know a lot about Escobar, Pablo. We know a lot less about the other Escobar, the Colombian footballer, Andres, and he was much more aware of him after his death. In the documentaries of Jeff and Michael Zimbali, we can see how fate the two Escobar’s were linked, although the soccer player and the king of cocaine did not hang out too much.
In the early nineties, football clubs in Colombia became a toy cartel. The clubs were financed with money from drugs – not the drug cartel bosses were driven only by sports motives, challenges. Clubs also served for illegal activities (eg money laundering). The strengthening of the clubs was also strengthened by the Colombia football team that came to the US Championship in 1994. Euphoric fans in Colombia were expecting (least) finals but the ball was different – Colombia was in the first round. One of the tragedians was Andres Escobar who turned the ball into his own network to win the US against Colombia. The consequences for Andres were terrible, scariest possible ..
The “Two Escobar” shows the interweaving of politics, football and the Colombian drug cartels at the time of their greatest power. Every time a football player talks about the pressure of the audience and the media, he should look at the “Two Escobar”. The pressure under which Colombian footballers played was …. It’s best to see for yourself.
3. PROKLETI UNITED (The Damned United) – (2009)
Director: Tom Hooper
“Nottingham Forest” is a unique story of the football world. The club, which included, among others, Peter Shilton, Roy Keane and Stuart Pierce had been a European champion rather than an English champion. In 1978, “Forest” became champion of England, a year later, and Europe. The title defenders managed to defend the European, but not the English top. Today the club is away from the day that Nottingham was the center of football Europe – fans of the club and all fans of football remain memories like those recorded in the film “The Bloody United”. This is a biographical story about Brian Clough, the creator of wonders from Nottingham, according to many surveys, still the best coach in England’s history. The film describes Clough’s coaching career, the rise from the fourth league since the first major failure – short episodes in “Leeds United” (it’s a goddamn united title) and the download of “Nottingham Foresta” on whose bench left a bit shorter than Arsene Wenger in “Arsenal” (from 1977 to 1992). Although the film story has hidden parts of Clough’s biography (alcoholism), “Bloody United” very well displays relationships within the football club as well as an overview of English football. The film works equally well as the biography of Brian Clough and the story of football. A particularly interesting relationship between McClough and his assistant responsible for the success of “Forrest”
4. THE PRINCIPLE (Mean Machine) – (2001)
DIRECTOR: Barry Skolnick
Wimbledon’s sensational victory over Liverpool in 1988 in the FA Cup final was the highlight of the sports story with film elements. Wimbledon gathered at that time a crazy gang – a group of footballers who compensated for the lack of talent by aggression, fights and, often, a rough, dirty game (about the behavior of Wimbledon’s first-timers out of the field could be written). Dennis Wise, John Fashan, Dave Beasant, Lawrie Sanchez and a gentleman who made a respectable acting career were the most famous members of the Crazy Gang (the nickname they received from the media there). It’s about Vinnie Jones (“Missing in 60 seconds”, “Thieves, killers and two loaded guns” which was an ideal choice for the role in “Mean Machine.” The story of the film is not genuine – the action is a combination of the aforementioned “Escape to Victory” and “The Longest Yard” of 1974 with Burt Reynolds in the lead. Jonnes interprets Danny Meehan, a football star serving prison sentences Meehan clashed with the police and must serve the sentence. Meehon’s jail fate complicated at the moment when learns about a friendly football game between guards and prisoners.
“Mean Machine” filled with colorful characters (in the film, performed by Jason Statham), humor and hilarious dialogues. A football movie worth watching.
5. MESSI – (2014)
DIRECTOR: Alex de la Iglesia
The documentary of Spanish director Alexa de la Iglesia (“The Day of the Beast”, “Perdita Durango”) talks about one of the best (for many and the best) footballer in the history of the game. Iglesia has portrayed Messi’s life story from the beginning, the arrival of a little boy in Barcelona (who helped solve the Messiah’s health problems) to stellar moments, winning club trophies, demolishing various records. Messi is spoken by former and current teammates (Pique, Iniesta, Mascherano) and giants of the football game (Johann Cruyff, Cesar Luis Menotti – interesting scenes of talking about Messi in the restaurant). Although ninety minutes is too little for all of Messi’s reach (the film was shot in 2014 – since then Messi has improved statistics and won new trophies), the documentary is an interesting story about a great game. Although he won all in the jersey of Barcelona, Messi in Argentina did not reach the glory of Diego Armando Maradona several times. He won Messi Olympic gold, he was the second in the world, but Maradona will only reach if Argentina in his era becomes the champion of the world. The Championship in Russia may be the last chance ….
6. THE WONDERFUL OF BERNE (Das Wunder von Bern) – (2003)
DIRECTOR: Sonke Wortmann
“Football is a game in which 22 players run for a ball for 90 minutes and in the end always win the Germans.” – the words of the English national player Gary Lineker are amazed by the regular victory of the German football team over England. One of the greatest victories of the German football team, and one of the biggest surprises in football history, happened in 1954 at the Swiss championship. The World Cup was then dominated by the Light Horse – the golden generation of Hungarian football led by Ferenc Puskas. In the first phase of the championship, the Hungarians defeated Germany with an incredible result; The match ended 8: 3. Representatives met again in the final, Hungary took 2-0 and stopped. Germany turned the result and won the championship with 3: 2. The surprise was so much that even today there are ongoing discussions about the supposedly doping of Germany’s players – whether the members of the Elf took inadmissible funds remains a question for history, but the miracle happened.The film discusses football events from Berne, but at the same time it shows postwar Germany, and how one of the biggest surprises in football history has affected the nation’s mood.
7. Fever Pitch – (1997)
DIRECTOR: David Evans
“Sports Fever” is a romantic comedy based on Nick Hornby’s literary template. The action of the film introduces us to Paul Asworth (Colin Firth). Paul is a true fan – from his early fellow fans of “Arsenal” (that Wenger from London), his love for the club was inherited from his father. Years pass, Paul is a professor of English, but the love for the club has remained the same. But a new love appeared – Sarah, a colleague and Paul’s better half that Arsenal and football are not interested in at all. Paul has to decide which love is more important and stronger.
“Sports Fever” perfectly describes the love jades of fans, fans of football when confronted with new life responsibilities. The story of love, football, growing up and moments when football stops is the most important thing in the world, but remains the most important side thing in the same world.
8. NAVIJAČKO LUDILO (Football Factory) – (2004)
DIRECTOR: Nick Love
The world of football can not be separated from the world of fans. The fan of madness talks about that extreme part of the fan story – hooliganism. The story follows Tommy Johnson who compensates for the lack of adrenaline in normal life at weekends. Conflicts with opponents, receiving and giving a baton are part of the life story of Tommy and his team.
“Foolish madness” leads us into the world of violence, football hooligans and one of the greatest rivalries (cheerleaders) in the world – Chelsea and Millwala. The film is based on John King’s literary template, quite convincingly portrays a cheerful everyday that is often spoken and judged by those who know very little or nothing about the fan subculture. The main role in the film is interpreted by Danny Dyer who later filmed a series of documentaries called “The Real Football Factory” about the world’s greatest fan club rivalries (a recommendation to watch if you are looking for answers to fans questions and if you like “Fan Freak”) .
9. PELE: LEGEND IS BIRTH (PELE: Birth of a Legend) – (2016)
DIRECTORS: Jeff and Michael Zimbalist
In 1958, in the World Cup final between Brazil and Sweden, the world met Edison Arantes de Nascimenta, better known as Pele. Seventeen-year-old scored two goals in the final and Brazil became world champion (5-2 win, a game promoted by the Brazilian attack Pele-Didi-Vava). Just in the final of 1958, the film “Pele: Legend was born” by Jeff and Michael Zimbalisty (the same directors are responsible for the aforementioned documentary “Two Escobar”). Although the film is unreasonably unrealistic in showing football games, it brings us many details from the great Pelea childhood – from Brazil’s poverty to the title of the best player on the planet (for many and the best of all times). Pele’s story is a real movie – to achieve such a success in an environment where it is difficult (to live), poverty is indeed a great, life-giving and, thanks to Jeff and Michael Zimbali, a film story. “Pele: Legend was born” is not just a film about Peleu – it’s a film that shows how important football is and is popular for the people of Brazil.
DIRECTORS: Luke Boughen, Rebekah Ferguson, Gwendolyn Oxenham, Ryan White
There are not a few films showing the global popularity of football, such as the 2010 Pelada documentary. Not only popularity but football as an inspiration, a game that erases borders at all levels – football language is understood throughout the world. No, “Pelada” is not followed by big championships, Champions League and similar, rich and elite competitions. Authors in different environments, countries are watching people who are footballers more than games – the reason they have found a place in society and (li) hope in places where faith is better tomorrow is hard to find. When you look at the “Pelada” you will have the desire to play several games. Like, once in two, in the company of football friends.
11. BAŠ KAO BECKHAM (Bend It Like Beckham) – (2002)
DIRECTOR: Gurinder Chadha
No, this is not a story about David Beckham. This is a film story about Jesminder, a girlfriend who loves Beckham, but still loves to play football. Just because of the passion for football, Jess becomes the black sheep of the family. Members of the traditional Indian family are not thrilled that the girl is running for a ball and Jess finds every way to run for a ball at London’s playgrounds.
Football is the main motive of a witty, life story – a conflict between old and young, traditional parents and kids who love different things, try something their own. The story is present in all societies, often seen, but told in a different, fun, but not banal way. The main roles in the film are interpreted by Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys-Myer