Part Time Lord, part footballer – check out this week’s Movies You Have Not Seen But Should!
It’s time once again for Movies You Have Not Seen But Should! This week we will have another first in this series as take another trip again “over the pond”. We will cover our first film that debuted on television. We will check out the 2011 historical drama United starring David Tennant and Dougray Scott.
The film is based on a true story. It centers on the soccer team (or football club for those outside of America) Manchester United. For those that don’t know, Manchester United is one of the most successful and popular teams around the world. They have a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. As the film begins, it is the fall of 1956. Bobby Charlton (played by Jack O’Connell, who is going to be in the upcoming film 300: Rise of an Empire), a young soccer player, gets the chance to play with the “first team”. United at the time was led by head manager Matt Busby (played by Scott, best known for his work in Mission Impossible II, Ever After, and My Week with Marilyn) and assistant manager Jimmy Murphy (played by Tennant best known for his role as the Doctor in Doctor Who). The players on the team were affectionately nicknamed “Busby’s Babes” as the team is mostly made up of talent developed by the club.
Coach Busby wanted not only to win the Football League (the league that Untied is a part of in the U.K.) but also the European Cup (which features the top teams from across Europe). He petitioned the Football League Administrator Alan Hardaker (played by veteran British TV actor Neil Dudgeon) to let United compete in the European Cup. United is allowed to do so with the provision that their European Cup matches don’t interfere with their Football League matches.
The club traveled throughout the European continent along with their games in the U.K. continuing to win. However, things changed when on a return flight from Munich, the plane they were in crashed. Eight players were killed and several were badly injured along with head manager Busby. The team was rocked and Charlton so badly shaken that he considered quitting playing all together. Meanwhile, Murphy has to try and field a team with the remaining players and recruit new talent. How will the club pull together in the midst of such tragedy? Will Charlton quit or will he return to the club? How will Murphy manage the team in Busby’s absence? You’ll have to watch to find out.
The film is based on a true story about the club, the “Munich Air Disaster” that happened on February 8, 1958 and the aftermath. It also stars Sam Claflin (who also had a role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Snow White and the Huntsman) and Kate Ashfield (best known for her role in the film Shawn of the Dead).
It debuted on April 24, 2011 on BBC Two. In its initial airing, it received 2.89 million audience share with another 346,000 when it aired on BBC HD. The film received a nomination for “Best European TV Production” at the Prix Europa 2011 Awards. It also has a 72% freshness rating among audience at Rotten Tomatoes.
United is available on DVD, Amazon Instant Video and Netflix Instant Streaming. If you’re a fan of David Tennant or sports films, this is a film to check out. It’s a film that you may not have seen, but you should.