World Cup Films

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World Cup Films

Postby Snuff » Mon May 26, 2014 11:02 am

I know not whether there will be more from this series, but, the three official FIFA films - of the World Cup finals of 1930, 1954 and 1958, shown on BBC2 on Saturday and Sunday mornings, were fascinating viewing.

I particularly enjoyed, although we are perhaps spoilt these days by the multi-camera, multi-angled, slow motion viewing we enjoy on TV, watching the grainy, black-and-white 1954 and 1958 films. It was great to see those wonderful Hungarians in action in the 1954 film. BTW, I think they were done in the final, I could see nothing wrong with Puskas's disallowed equaliser.

The 1958 film was, however, for me spoilt by the terrible script in the English language version which was shown. This script reflects badly on Keir Radnedge, the writer, who really should know better.

The narrator blindly followed the script, to tell us: Scotland went home beaten in all three games. Certainly, we didn't cover ourselves in glory, but, we did draw with Yugoslavia. We were also told that England had qualified despite losing Roger Byrne, Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor at Munich. I am willing to concede that, having the Manchester United trio in Sweden would have given England a better chance of getting out of what was, a "Group of Death", but, they had already qualified before the trio were killed in the air crash. Radnedge's script then had Pele making his bow earlier than he actually did.

While, not unexpectedly, Scotland were barely mentioned in both films, in the 1958 one, the English, who failed to get past the group stage, got more exposure than the Northern Irish and Welsh, who did. But, that is hardly surprising.

I knew Harry Gregg was voted goalkeeper of the tournament, and deservedly so, but, hadn't realised what a good tournament Peter McParland had had in Sweden.

OK, there are quibbles, but, all told, the 1954 and 1958 films were enjoyable, the 1930 less-so. The camera-work in that one was a bit amateurish, but, it was good to get a glimpse of a tournament of which we in Europe know nothing.

I wonder if the BBC has plans to show any more. So-long as we are not exposed to the over-the-top jingoism of 'Goal!' the 1966 film, I will not mind. I can even put-up with the fact that, in 1954 and 1958, England used the Union Flag - England and the United Kingdom being one and the same to them back in the days of Alex Salmond's youth.
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Re: World Cup Films

Postby Scottish » Mon May 26, 2014 4:38 pm

Snuff wrote: I am willing to concede that, having the Manchester United trio in Sweden would have given England a better chance of getting out of what was, a "Group of Death",


In the circumstances, not perhaps the best metaphor to use?

I believe the 1974 film English version was written by Geoffrey Green of The Times and narrated by Joss Ackland. IIRC then Green, one of the finest football reporters of his generation, really should have known better than to come up with his laboured and inane descriptions. There is one horrific example (which I alas forget) which ends with pots, kettles and black and takes about half an hour to get there. But the one which really sticks out is when the teams come out for the final and Ackland finds himself having to read out "Paul Breitner, he of the the long hair and the left-wing opinions." WTF?
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Re: World Cup Films

Postby the hibLOG » Mon May 26, 2014 10:09 pm

I have fond memories of going to see the 1970 film at the pictures in Armadale (W. Lothian version) which naturally cemented the tournament's position in my memory as the greatest football spectacle ever in the history of the universe. I must have been about 8 at the time. The film was the B feature preceding a showing of Carry On Camping, which was an AA certificate (subliminal flash of Barbara WIndsor's tits, usual innuendo) so how this scrawny pasty-faced infant managed to pass for 14 I have no idea.
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