Soccer Movies

* Recommended Titles

The Winning Goal (1920)… Harold Walden, Maudie Dunham, Tom Reynolds, Haidee Wright.

The Great Game (1930)… John Batten, Renée Clama, Wally Patch, Kenneth Kove, Rex Harrison A young player makes the team and helps them win the cup final. Features real footballers Jack Cock, Andy Wilson, Albert Thain and Sam Millington, and players from other clubs.

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1940)… Leslie Banks, Greta Gynt, Ian McLean, Liane Linden, Anthony Bushell. The investigation of a death during a charity soccer match is the basis for this British drama. The football match during the action sequences was between Arsenal and Brentford, which was Arsenal's last home game before WWII.

Rattle of a Simple Man (1964)… Diane Cilento, Thora Hird, Michael Medwin, Charles Dyer, Harry H. Corbett. From When a group of northern soccer fans are down in London for the Cup Final one of their number winds up with a lady of the night. As they talk, the unsophisticated and naive lad starts to believe he has found true love.

Cup Fever (1965)… Bernard Cribbins, Sonia Graham, Dermot Kelly, David Lodge. The children of Barton United soccer team are offered help by the local professional team Manchester United with boss man to win their local championship. Susan George’s film debut. Many professional stars appear including Matt Busby (mentioned in the Beatles song “Dig It”).

The Hero (1971) … Richard Harris, Romy Schneider, Kim Burford, Maurice Kaufmann.  A star soccer player agrees to throw a game, but his conscience begins to bother him. [Harris played rugby in his youth.]

The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1972) … Arthur Brauss, Erika Pluhar.   A soccer goalie misses a penalty kick and is suspended from a game. Wandering through Vienna, he picks up a girl, but he strangles her in the morning.  He wanders and then goes to the house of an old girlfriend, where he can only wait for the police capture him.  Eerie thriller. (Subtitles)

You’ll Never Walk Alone (1974)… Brian Glover, Maureen Lipman, Gordon Rollings. On a train going to London for the FA Cup Final, three Leeds United fans try to persuade three non-football fans to join them.

* The Boys in Company C (1978)… Stan Shaw, Andrew Stevens, James Canning, Michael Lembeck, Craig Wasson. Five Marines in Viet Nam are told that if they can defeat a rival soccer team, they can spend the rest of their tour playing exhibition games behind the lines.

Manny's Orphans (1978)… Jim Baker, Malachey McCourt, Melissa Valentin. Manny finds a job coaching soccer at an all-boy Catholic home for orphans, the star of which is Pepe who turns out to be a girl. UK title is “Kick!”

Hothead (1978) … Patrick Dewaere.  A talented soccer player is thrown off his team, loses his job and is kicked out of his favorite bar because of his bad temper.   A comedy! (Subtitles)

Yesterday’s Hero (1979)… Ian McShane, Suzanne Somers, Adam Faith. From A has-been, alcoholic former soccer star determines to make a comeback. He gets help from his former girlfriend, now a rock star, and her partner.

Carrott Gets Rowdie (1980)… From A documentary that looks at American soccer from a British perspective. British comedian Jasper Carrott visits Tampa Bay Florida to interview locals about their soccer team, the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Throughout his travels in Tampa Bay he experiences many aspects of America culture for the first time. This documentary provides not only a great look at the sport of soccer, but also at the American way of life.

* Victory (1981)… Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Max von Sydow, Daniel Massey, Tim Pigott-Smith, Julian Curry, Clive Merrison, Maurice Roëves. During World War II, an all-star Nazi team plays a group of allied POW’s at a German prison camp for propaganda purposes. The match in front of a huge crowd, they must decide whether to finish the match or try to escape. Great soccer players of the day like Pele, Bobby Moore and Ossie Ardiles also appear.

Gregory’s Girl (1982)  John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn, Jake D'Arcy, Clare Grogan, Robert Buchanan.  A boy and his friends are learning about girls. He likes one, especially because she has makes the local soccer team and is a better player than he is.  Young love has its stops and starts. 

A Minor Miracle (1983)… John Huston, Pele, Daven Kapla. A group of orphans and their guardian to try to save their orphanage by playing soccer.

Long Shot Kids (1986) … Leif Garrett, Linda Manz, Ralph Seymour, Zoe Chaueau.  A player passes on a scholarship offer to Stanford to play professional soccer in Europe, but he must win a foosball championship in order to get the money to be able to play overseas.

Those Glory Glory Days (1986) …  Zoe Nathenson, Julia Goodman, Rachel Meidman, Julia McKenzie, Peter Tilbury, Danny Blanchflower, Liz Campion , Cathy Murphy , Sara Sugarman, John SalthouseAn English made-for-TV romantic comedy about a group of teenage girls who are passionately devoted to a UK soccer team.  Twenty years later, one of them meets the team's star player and recalls her youthful obsession for the team.

* Hotshot (1987)… Jim Youngs, Pele, Billy Warlock, Jeremy Green, Weyman Thompson, Melvin Van Peebles, Penelope Ann Miller. The story of an American soccer player who is coached by Pele, who is of course, the greatest soccer player of all time.

The Firm (1988)… Gary Oldman. From This is the story of rival "Firms" of football (soccer) supporters, and how one man has a wish too team them up for the European Championships of 1988. However, when this is discussed, the opposing leaders, are not happy as the believe this is a challenge to their authority. This Film shows how football violence has progressed from pure violence to a form of organised crime, to the extent that all the leaders know each others home phone / mobile phone numbers.

Struck by Lightning (1990)… Garry McDonald, Brian Vriends. Australian comedy about a soccer teacher forming a handicapped team. Good movie.

Cup Final  (1991) … An Israeli soldier and his PLO captors both share a love of the Italian World Cup soccer team.  Moshe Ivgi, Muhamad Bacri.  (subtitles 

Ladybugs (1992)… Rodney Dangerfield, Jackee Jonathon Brandis. A salesman is forced to coach a girl’s soccer team and tries to bring in a male ringer. Not very good.

Born Kicking (1992)… Eve Barker. German TV-movie (in English) about a girl who is trying to be the only female professional soccer star in the country. 

An Evening With Gary Lineker (1994)…Paul Merton, Clive Owen, Martin Clunes. Famous British play goes to the movies.

I.D. (1995)… Reece Dinsdale, Richard Graham, Perry Fenwick, Philip Glenister, Warren Clarke. From John, an ambitious young policeman, is sent undercover into the hardcore football gangs to track down the 'generals' - the shadowy figures who orchestrate the violence. Gradually, the hard drinking, hard fighting macho world - where Saturday's match and Saturday's rumble are all that matters - proves irresistible and John slowly finds himself turning into one of the thugs he has been sent to destroy. German movie in English.

Eleven Men against Eleven (1995)… Timothy West, James Bolan. New coach needs to clean up soccer club. British TV-movie.

The Big Green (1995)… Steve Guttenberg, Olivia d’Abo. Disney comedy about a group of misfit kids who become soccer champions of their league.   

The Final Goal  (1995) … Erik Estrada, Steven Nijjar, Vaitaire Hirshon, Dean Butler, Bill Pickels.  The head of an international sports cartel bribes a star player to throw the world soccer championship.

Go Now (1995) … Robert Carlyle, Juliet Aubrey, James Nesbitt, Sophie Okonedo. A young Scottish soccer player meets a girl and they fall in love. Soon after, he contracts multiple sclerosis and the film explores the emotional impact it has on their relationship.

When Saturday Comes (1996)… Sean Bean, Emily Lloyd, Pete Postlethwaite, Ken Jackson, Craig Kelly, John McEnery, Joe Muir. A hard-drinking amateur soccer player finally has a chance to play for a professional team (Sheffield United). Filmed at various locations around South Yorkshire, England.

* All Stars (1997)… Antonie Kamerling, Danny de Munk, Daniel Boissevain. From The members of a Dutch soccer team have been playing together since they were little boys. Now in their twenties, they all have their own "grown-up" problems. With the team's 500th game coming up, personal issues take almost all their time. Comedy.

The Fix (1997)… Steve Coogan, Jason Isaacs, Maggie O'Neill, Michael Elphick, Ricky Tomlinson, Colin Welland, Christopher Fulford. From True story of one of the most infamous UK football (soccer) scandals in the history of the game. In the early 1960s an ex-footballer, Jimmy Gauld, was able to bribe a large number of strikers and goalkeepers from football clubs all over the country to illegally throw matches and thus clean up at the bookies on these fixed matches. The scandal was eventually brought to light when football hating investigative journalist, Mike Gabbett, was assigned the story by his editor. Even though he had no idea where to start, Gabbett tenaciously continued to follow the story until he exposed top football star Tony Kay and his corrupt friends, which made headline news. The breaking of this story eventually led to Tony Kay and friends being sentenced to four months in prison and Jimmy Gauld as 'Mr. Fix It' receiving four years. British TV-movie.

Fever Pitch (1997)… Luke Aikman, Bea Guard, Neil Pearson, Ruth Gemmell, Colin Firth, Richard Claxton. About an English teacher’s love for a woman and his obsession with the Arsenal soccer team. Based on Nick Hornby's best selling autobiography, Fever Pitch.

Let's Get Lost (1997)… Sidse Babett Knudsen, Nikolai Kopernikus, Troels Lyby, Bjarne Henriksen. Danish movie about three friends spend the day talking soccer and plotting to get tickets. 

My Summer With Des (1998)… Neil Morrissey, Rachel Weisz, John Gordon Sinclair, Arabella Weir, Graeme Garden, Tilly Blackwood, Desmond Lynam. From Martin arrives in France for World Cup 98. As he watches a waiter demonstrating his football (soccer) skills, his mind drifts back to London, 1996, during Euro 96. A two week period that was to change his life forever as he loses his job, tries to repair his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and lives through the agony and ecstasy of England's campaign in the company of a beautiful but mysterious woman called Rosie. British TV-movie.

Home Team (1998) … Steve Guttenberg, Sophie Lorain, Ryan Slater, Michel Perron, Carl Alacchi.  A former professional soccer player is convicted and sentenced to do community service time at a children's home.  He organizes and coaches a youth soccer team for the kids there.  

Bostock's Cup (1999)… Nick Hancock, Philip McGough, Neil Pearson, Tim Healy. From Former players and associates of third division club Bostock Stanley gather for a celebratory dinner to commemorate their famous FA Cup victory twenty-five years previously during which a shocking truth is revealed.

Soccer Dog: The Movie (1999)… James Marshall, Olivia d’Abo, Jeremy Foley, Sam McMurray. From A heart-warming comedy about the friendship between the new kid in town and a soccer-playing dog on the lam from the dog-catcher. It's up to these two underdogs to win the PeeWee Soccer League championship game.

The Match (1999)… Max Beesley, Isla Blair, James Cosmo, Laura Fraser, Samantha Fox. Comedy about two Scottish pub soccer teams who play each other to resolve a century-old grudge.

A Shot at Glory (2000) … Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton, All McCoist, Brian Cox, Kirsty Mitchell, Cole Hauser.  The manager of a lower tier Scottish soccer team is under pressure to win or the team will be relocated from its historic, loyal hometown.  He must also fight his own personal battles and betrayals.

There's Only One Jimmy Grimble (2000)… Lewis McKenzie, Jane Lapotaire, Gina McKee, Ben Miller. A kid who gets bullied finds relief in soccer.

Yellow Card (2000)… Kasamba Mkumba, Leroy Gopal. A young promising high school soccer player falls in love. The film is basically intended to warn Zimbabwean youth of the dangers of unprotected sex.

Mad About Mambo (2000)… Williams Ash, Keri Russell, Maclean Stewart. An Irish catholic high school student wants to play professional soccer so, to perfect his timing, he starts taking dance classes and falls in love.

Air Bud 3: World Pup (2000) … Kevin Zegers, Caitlin Wachs, Frank C. Turner, Martin Ferrero, Dale Midkiff.  In Disney's third installment, Buddy plays with the U.S. Women's Soccer Team and tries to outwit puppy-snatchers.

The Cup (2000) … Godu Lama, Jamyang Lodro, Neten Chokling, Orgyen Tobgyal, Pema Tshundup.  Young boys in a Tibetan monastery take extreme measures to try to see the finals of the World Cup soccer match. 

Mike Bassett, England Manager (2001)… Ricky Tomlinson, Amanda Redman, Bradley Walsh, Philip Jackson, Pele. British comedy about the new football (soccer) manager who hopes to lead England to the World Cup. Soccer star Pele has a cameo.

The Truce (2001)… Scott Butler, Alex Moor, Josh Bodenweiser. The true story of a soccer game played between British and German soldiers during a Christmas Day ceasefire at the beginning of World War I.

Best (2000)… John Lynch, Ian Bannen, Jerome Flynn, Ian Hart, Roger Daltry. The life story of star Manchester player George Best whose his extravagant lifestyle led to problems with alcoholism and subsequent death from a kidney infection related to a liver transplant.

Venus and Mars (2001)… Lynn Redgrave, Daniela Amavia, Fay Masterson. From After years of absence 26-year old Kay returns to her hometown. Her soccer coach died and the girls from the team all gather for the funeral. The stories of Celeste, Lisa and Marie seem to prove what Kay has long suspected: love makes you unhappy. But Kay's mother predicts that when Venus lines up with Mars, Kay will meet the man of her dreams. Then suddenly a mysterious American appears and an unpredictable adventure begins that changes Kay's idea of a happy life. German movie in English.

Mean Machine (2001)… Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham, David Kelly, David Hemmings, Vas Blackwood, Jason Flemyng, Danny Dyer. A soccer star jailed for assault leads a group of inmates in a match against prison guards. British remake of the Longest Yard.

Shaolin Soccer (2001)… Stephen Chow. From A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage. Many hammy special effects.

Big Brother Trouble (2001) … Mario Lopez, Bo Hopkins, Michael Suchanek, Shad Hart, Dick Van Patten, Lindsey Brooke.   A younger brother is in constant competition with star soccer player big brother.  A pretty girl moves in next door and the competition between the brothers goes to a new level.

* Bend It Like Beckham (2002)… Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley. A comedy that film follows two 18-year-old girls who want to play professional soccer and run away to Europe. Definitely worth seeing.

The King and Us (2002)… Christopher Eccleston, Siobhan Finneran. Manchester need to defeat Manchester City on the last day of the 1974 season or they will finish in the second division for the first time since 1938.

The Game of Their Lives (2002) … A documentary, directed by Daniel Gordon, about seven surviving members of North Korean national soccer team that participated in the 1966 World Cup tournament in England. He had unprecedented access to the players. You can't help rooting for these guys.

The Miracle of Bern  (2003)… Louis Klamroth; Peter Lohmeyer; Johanna Gastdorf; Mirko Lang; Birthe Wolter; Katharina Wackernagel. Germany's surprising upset victory at the soccer 1954 World Cup is mythic.  Just nine years after the end of WWII, the victory was a time of national jubilation and catharsis.  The film’s two focuses are on the family of a young boy whose father returns from Russia after 13 years, and a reporter and his wife reporting from the matches.

The Other Final (2003) … On the same day as Germany and Brazil played in the 2002 World Cup Final, the two lowest ranked teams in international soccer, the national teams of Bhutan and Montserrat, met in an official FIFA sanctioned, friendly match in the Bhutanese capital.  They played strictly for the love of the game. The film follows the two teams in their respective countries as they prepare for the match, travel to the stadium and play in the “Other” final. 

Just For Kicks (2003)… Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Tom Arnold. Kids soccer movie starring the Sprouse Twins.

Soccer Dog: European Cup (2004)… Nick Moran, Jake Thomas. Follow-up for the kids.

* Goal! (2005)… Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane, Gary Lewis. A young illegal immigrant living in the Barrios section of Los Angeles realizes his dream by trying out for the Premiership club Newcastle United. aka Goal! The Dream Begins (USA)

The Game of Their Lives (2005)… Gerard Butler, Wes Bentley, Richard Jenik, Jay Rodan. True story of the 1950 US soccer team who, against all odds, beat England 1-0 in the small town of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Directed by David Anspaugh (Rudy, Hoosiers).

Kicking and Screaming (2005)… Will Farrell, Robert Duvall, Mike Ditka. Farrell plays the coach of a kid’s soccer team.

Sixty Six (2006)… Eddie Marsan, Helena Bonham Carter, Stephen Rea, Catherine Tate, Peter Serafinowicz and Gregg Sulkin. Soccer is the backdrop for this rite-of-passage film about a Jewish teenager from north London who is dismayed to discover that his long-awaited Bar Mitzvah will fall on the same day as England’s first-ever World Cup Final appearance.

She’s the Man (2006) … Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, David Cross.  A soccer-playing girl’s school cuts the girls' soccer program, so she impersonates her brother, who is about to start at another school where no one knows him.  The brother unwittingly obliges by going off to London before school begins to pursue his dream of being a musician.  A comedy of benign misunderstandings.

Once in a Lifetime (2006) … Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff, Matt Dillon (narrator). A look back at the wild rise and fall of the New York Cosmos, a 1970s premier soccer team.

Personal Sergeant (2006) … Victor Argo, Julie Carpenter, Celine Marget.  An over-worked mom puts her own father in charge of her daughter’s youth soccer team.  The grand-dad becomes a hard-nosed soccer coach, but everyone is forced to do some introspection.

Sexy Soccer (2006) … Au Yeung Oi Suen, Carmen Yeung, Tong Tong. A soccer coach owes big bucks to a loan shark and needs to start winning games to avoid getting whacked.  The solution:  put together an all-chick soccer team of hotties so the male opponents can’t keep their eyes on the ball and the coach can win some quick cash. Not for the kids.

Goal II: Living the Dream (2007)… Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane. A decent sequel. After playing with Newcastle United, Santiago Munez is transferred to Real Madrid.

Gracie (2007)… Elisabeth Shue, Carly Schroeder, Andrew Shue, Dermot Mulroney, Jessee Lee Soffer. Set in 1978, this is an inspirational independent film about a teenage girl who overcomes the loss of her brother and tries out for the boys’ team because there is no girls’ soccer team at her school. The film is loosely based on true events from the lives of Andrew and Elizabeth Shue, who produced and appears in the film.

Goal! 3 (2008)… Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane.

Hermano (2011)… Eliú Armas, Fernando Moreno. From Two young men who have been raised as brothers look to their soccer skills as a way of getting out of their slum. While a scout is in town, an act of violence threatens to tear them apart.


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