Sad that the World Cup has come and gone? Well sort out your withdrawal syndromes with some of these soccer/football themed flicks.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Stars: Kiera Knightley, Parminder Nagra
The film that made Kiera Knightley a star and also popularised girls’ soccer. Bend It Like Beckham follow the story of Jess (Parminder Nagra), and her ambition to play football and be like her hero David Beckham. But Jess has her work cut out for her as her strict Sikh parents refuse to allow her to pursue her one true goal. Although Bend It Like Beckham utilises the sport motif to carry the story, the true appeal of this film is the message that it carries, which is about tolerance, belief and the power of pursuing one’s dream.
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Max Von Sydow, Pele
A group of allied soldiers in a German detention camp formulates a plan to escape their prison by participating in a propaganda-ish football game against the soldiers. Filled with great football action including some priceless moments from Sylvester Stallone, the true stars of this film are the actual pros like Pele, Bobby Moore and Osvaldo Ardiles. Check out the POWs match against the German soldiers to check out some truly nifty footballing skills.
Mean Machine (2001)
Stars: Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham
Based on the 70s classic The Longest Yard, the producers of this film swaps the American Football setting for British football pitch. But sticking to the theme of the original, former Wimbledon player, Vinnie Jones stars as disgraced football player, Danny Meehan who gets sent to prison after a drunken fight. There, he has to contend with a sadistic warden who challenges him to set up a footy match between the prisoners and the guards. The film may be a carbon copy of the classic, but Jones’ manages to showcase his acting and football skills in this, allowing for some truly funny scenes.
Stars: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel
The only football trilogy ever to be made, Goal! chronicles the story of Santiago Munez, a Mexican teen with amazing on-pitch talents who manages to draw the eye of a football scout. Despite going against his father’s wishes, Munez takes a leap of faith and eventually gets signed to play for BPL club, Newcastle United. Fans of European football will love this one as it boasts cameos by top players such as Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.
Fever Pitch (1997)
Stars: Colin Firth, Ruth Gemmell
An adaptation of the best seller by Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch follows the story of English teacher Paul Ashworth (Colin Firth), a hapless Arsenal fan whose life literally revolves around his beloved football club. However, when he finds love, he is forced to choose between his newfound relationship and his affinity for his club, even more so as they attempt to win the First Division Championship against arch rivals Liverpool. The film is actually based on the Gunners 88-89 season.