I enjoyed Lee Hicken’s Take Us Home: Leeds United series so much, I was compelled to watch his earlier documentary on Leeds. Both are on Amazon Prime. Do You Want to Win covers Leeds’ last successful seasons in the early 1990s, when they won promotion to the top division and 2 years later won that division in the last season before it became the EPL.
Whether you are straight or gay, Forbidden Games documents a story that is tough to watch. As his brother John has noted, if Justin Fashanu had been born 30 years later, he would have been a hero. Instead, Justin’s life story is filled with regret from almost all who knew him.
Stop right there, I’m being as misleading as the film. Justin Fashanu would have been a hero today had he simply been a proud gay man, a black man, and a good footballer.
No other soccer film so proudly demonstrates the types of foul play that can end players’ careers or easily result in a mass confrontation. An important archive of English football history, Soccer’s Hard Men is a 1992 film that every referee should watch.
Fortunately, most of the tackles, punches, crotch grabs, elbows, hits on GKs, and other misconducts shown in this film would be instant ejections today. But developing referees would see the hard evidence on why these fouls are now disallowed.
She’s the Man is a clever adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a story of mistaken identity and cross-dressing, played on a high school soccer field. Amanda Bynes sparkles as Viola, a girl masquerading as her brother Sebastian in order to play on the boys team (under coach Vinnie Jones).
Burt Reynolds’ The Longest Yard is one of my favorite movies, and Mean Machine is almost as good. This British soccer version, starring former EPL player Vinnie Jones, stays pretty close to the original story.
The Other Half is a long drawn-out joke. An England fan plans a honeymoon in Portugal so that he can sneak off to England’s three Euro 2004 games. The complication is that his American wife doesn’t even know he’s a soccer fan, and her father has paid for the honeymoon.