Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Football in books can be enjoyable, but football in motion pictures is rare. Starngely, the exciting game never makes good film script. I have seen few films based on football and did not like any of them. Not memorable films and not up to my own taste. But here is an example: in 1981 Escape To Victory came out. A Second World War adventure film, more or less structured around a ‘life or death’ match between prisoners of war and Nazi military team.
Nazis and dog excluded, back row (left to right): Russell Osman (England), Paul Van Himst (Belgium), Mike Summerbee (England), Sylvester Stalone (Rocky/Rambo a goalkeeper?) John Wark (Scotland), Kazimierz Deyna (Poland), Soren Lindsted (Denmark)
Front row: Hallvar Thorsen (Denmark), Osvaldo Ardiles (Argentina), Michael Caine, Pele (Brazil), Bobby Moore (England), Co Prins (Holland).
What a selection? Well, except the goalie, but remember Brazil 1982? Holland 1974 and 1978? Even the great Ajax had no goalie to speak of. Now, the Nazis had no player of any standing and our boys won.
A moment of the match: POW Pele tricks a Nazi.
I always had the feeling Hollywood adapted a horrible actual event from the Eastern Front: there was a match in Kiev between Nazi team and Soviet POWs – the story says it was practically Dinamo Kiev, and is incorporated in the club history, but in the recent years the Dinamo version is refuted. But there was such a match. No black player and no Rambo, however.