About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

A Shot At Glory

The world of cinema has regularly tried to translate the thrilling spectacle of football to the silver screen with mixed results. With the game often being stranger than fiction, football drama tends to err on the side of contrived and predictable. Nevertheless football films are usually an enjoyable watch although not always for the right reasons.One recent classic of the genre doing the rounds on Freeview at the moment is "A Shot At Glory", a bizarre Hollywood attempt to capture the magic of the Cup.Featuring the marquee names of Robert Duvall and Michael Keaton, the film follows the fortunes of lowly Scottish team Kilnockie. Wealthy American owner Peter Cameron (Keaton) has bought the club and has a dream to move the club MK Dons style to Dublin. To prevent this wily old manager Gordon McLeod (Duvall) has to bring success to the moribund club. To help him do this Cameron buys star Celtic striker Jackie McQuillan, who just happens to be the estranged husband of McLeod's daughter Kate.Here the fun and games start off screen as McQuillan is played by Rangers legend Ally McCoist. This leads to some bizarre footage of McQuillan's early career inserted into the early part of the film. This footage shows McCoist scoring goals for Rangers from his real career, but because the Director wants to show McQuillan's past the famous blue Rangers shirts are coloured green! This was an alleged pay off for acceding to McCoist's request that the top team in the film was Rangers!Anyway back to the film. Of course Kilnockie despite being behind in every game somehow manage to secure promotion and a place in the Scottish Cup Final despite Duvall's strange attempt at a Scottish accent and team talks limited to "If you score more goals than the other team, then you will win".The match footage shot at Dumbarton, Queen of the South and Kilmarnock is not bad with the extras being supplied by Raith Rovers. Several real life football stars had speaking roles including John McVeigh, Peter Hetherston, Didier Agathe, Ally Maxwell, Owen Coyle and Claudio Reyna. Unfortunately the scenes on the terraces isn't quite so convincing with actors dressed in all manner of Kilnockie merchandise not quite getting it right.I won't spoil the ending by telling you what happens in the Cup Final, but I doubt you need me to tell you that everyone is reconciled off it, including Duvall and his managerial Nemesis Brian Cox who plays Rangers head honcho Martin Smith.All in all a wonderfully wasteful way to spend a couple of hours of the festive holiday once you’ve gorged yourself on mince pies and sherry. Ally McCoist is by far the best thing in the film. You would be hard pushed to tell he wasn't an actor and his footballing ability speaks for itself. Duvall on the other hand whilst looking like the stereotypical craggy Scottish Manager spoils the illusion every time he opens his mouth. All set to a score by Mark Knopfler, Local Hero it ain't, but it is head and shoulders above some of the other football films of recent times.
Watch It: A Shot At Glory is probably still available in the budget section of your local DVD emporium.

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