A quick sidetrack from the footy gossip for your midweek amusement. Following the success of the previous article we uncover several more feature films with Tottenham links.
I was aware of a couple of these but thank you, to you the readers for sending in some more. These date from the quite recent right back to the early days of cinema.
So if you’re got your choc-ices and are comfortable lets lower the lights and. action...
The Weekly Herald in October 1930 informs us that that a new football film, entitled “The Great Game” has been released and features six Spurs players, namely Jimmy Dimmock, Frank Osborne, Taffy O’Callaghan, Bert Smith, Billy Cook and Arthur Lowdell. They appear in the 'match' scenes. The story line it seems involves a betting ring that will go to any lengths to win. This involves players being drugged and kidnapping. At this point I should tell you it was filmed at Stamford Bridge. Don’t worry our hero who plays for non–league Manningford Town not only wins the FA Cup he marries the girl who is the chairman’s daughter.
This shouldn’t be confused with two other films with a football theme and carry the same title made in 1945 and 1953.
Fast forward to the 1970’s and a movie entitled ‘Life is Sweet’, set in the 70’s and has a scene where two Spurs fans are discussing how good their Double side was compared to the dreadfully boring Arsenal side of the current period.
So art imitating real life.
Right - The Great Game - Chelsea's dog track but do any of those legs belong to Spurs?
Next up a film that won two Oscar nominations and was regarded as one of the best films of the period. ‘One of our planes is missing’ (top) It was made in 1942 during the Second World War and tells the story of a RAF bomber shot down on the way home from a raid and crashes in Holland. Losing contact with one of the crew the other five set out to get home.
They travel with help from the underground by bicycle when they pass a football match where the missing airman is playing. Well of course he was. This is where the Spurs lads come in and they are taking the part of the Dutch players. Filmed in Lincolnshire because it looks like Holland (and not as I once read in Holland, I’m sure the German army would have been very helpful). Not to worry the lads get home and are last seen taking off on another mission.
At this point I’ll slip in that ‘Escape to Victory’ which was featured in the previous article, was loosely inspired on a real game. Again not the Great Escape as I once saw, but on events that occurred in Kiev during the war. Once again as in the film the ‘good guys’ beat the Nazi’s but the outcome was not quite so good in real life as several of the ‘local’ side that had triumphed were later arrested and shot before the occupation ended.
Above Right - Ossie Ardiles (on left) listens to the management skills of Michael Caine. As this pic shows with Pele, Bobby Moore and John Wark in the side did the Germans really stand a chance?
Another film that was suggested by a reader was ‘Notes on a Scandal’ and I gather there is one scene where one of the characters claims he has just spent the day at White Hart Lane watching Spurs and Defoe win a game.
The other says her father was a Charlton supporter but it never gave him any pleasure.
This part is played by Judy Dench who was also married to a Spurs Supporting Anthony Hopkins in the film ‘84 Charing Cross Road’ which was featured in the first article.
I confess I haven’t any of these but someone else tells me that David Ginola (who took acting lessons at RADA in London) has appeared in the several French language films including a leading part in ‘Rosbeef’, which won a prize at the Cannes film festival and he appeared in ‘Didler the Butcher.’
He has also been in a couple of English language films ‘Operation Matchbox’ (a wartime thriller) I suspect that’s David on the poster far right, above. The other is something called ‘Mr Firecul.’
If you know of any more Tottenham links to the golden screen then do drop me a note.
You can find the first set of movies @
And you might even like to check out some other stories that range from tattoos to the telly, from the cars to cakes and the Jukebox to cartoons ! @
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