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One Night In Turin is an amazing documentary about the England team World Cup run in Italia 90. It charts the battle from the poor first qualifier games up until the crashing defeat in Turin on 4th July 1990.
The documentary shows how much football has changed in the last 20 years. It is before the Premiership and pampered players being paid millions. It also reminds us of the dark times when hooliganism was the main word associated with English football. I think the shambolic players of the most recent World Cup should be made to watch this documentary and hang their heads in shame.
When said battle at the beginning of this review I mean battle. One Night in Turin has an amazing voice over by Gary Oldman that is reminiscent of the documentaries charting Wars on the History channel. This gives it a dramatic edge that you will not see in many other football documentaries.
Italia 90 has always had a special place in my heart it was the first World Cup I truly remember and is was the first time I experienced true heart break. Being a geordie it is also special as the main players in the battle were Sir Bobby Robson (R.I.P) and Gazza. Who will ever forget his tears - I shed a tear everytime I see the game footage myself. Every time I watch the game I still have the tiniest bit of hope that we will win - I know this is ridiculous but it is so absorbing.
This game brings about a level of passion that I have never felt for any England team since.
I have not read the book One Night in Turin so maybe my review would have been different with the comparison. Thanks to the other reviewers on Dooyoo I will be reading it and let you know.....
This is a brilliant DVD for anyone who wants to reminisce on just how close we came or is maybe a bit of a massochist. Would make a great present for the football fan in our life but ensure you buy them some tissues too.
One night in Turin is a dvd documentary based on the England Football team and its experiences at Italia 90. To most football fans this world cup marked the beginning and end of eras in English football.
It was the start of 6 lonely years as England began a steady decline from semi-finalists to failing to appear at the next World Cup.
The DVD is based on the splendid Pete Davies book 'All Played Out' which was a seminal football book, where the author was given unprecedented access to the camp and provided and honest and at times
uncomfortable read, as the press tried to destroy the team before a ball was kicked following their own agendas, players openly mocked the excellent coach Bobby Robson, and English followers continued what had become an entirely expected period of hooliganism, the likes of which we hope will never be seen again.
Featuring FIFA footage of the tournament and behind the scenes shots which have never been seen before, this could have been the perfect accompaniment to the book, unfortunately it feels more like a cheap accessory which is unsatisfying and shallow.
For me this documentary really doesn't do the book justice at all, whereas the book summed up a month wonderfully with interviews, honest views of the political and social environment and beautifully described moments which are unforgettable to any football fan, it also had moments of sourness and bitterness which really made the book something else, the documentary misses about 90% of these issues and as a result is simply a documentary about the build up to some football matches and the performances themselves.
The documentary begins by talking about the moves of Margaret Thatcher and then Sports Minister Colin Moynihan to attempt to control football, it also discusses the social discourse of the time with rave and poll tax riots, but for me it doesn't do these in half as much detail as the book and suffers for it, therefore in its half baked way it makes the documentary seem shallow and poorly researched.
It also felt for me as though somebody wanted to attach a social essay onto a football documentary and fails on both counts. Its difficult to mess up the football, as for any England fan it was an emotional and rewarding tournament, to hear Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma whilst England fight for their survival is stirring stuff and the nineties music gives the whole thing a lift, but I found that whilst it is a good idea including music of the era, having music performed years before and after the event show a lack of attention which really rings through the whole production, how can Joy Division be on the soundtrack when they had parted years before the event? New Order with 'World In Motion' makes sense, Glasvegas makes none at all.
Another issue for me is the editing, at times actors are used as a narrative tool, their feet recreating the players moves, but this is just silly and I know in the documentary Zidane, watching his balletic movement proved to be the point of the film, but here it looks like a cheap stunt and distracts from the main story, rather than adding anything useful to the dvd.
Things like this are frustrating for anyone who has read the book, the interviews range from interesting to dated, Sir Bobby Robson talking about the way the press tried to destroy him is incredibly interesting, watching Paul Gascoigne is just sad, a talented man who clearly only knew how to play football and lacked the social skills to do anything other than try to please everyone and collapse under the weight of expectations.
The only area the film works on, is the montages and footage of Englands footballing progress, although this is easy to do, as it includes goals, penalties, tears, last minute winners, more penalties, Roger Milla, Gary Lineker, Gazza and our old beloved friends Germany, who play their regular role of crushers of our sporting dreams. Although a 5-1 many years later would clear many memories of the fear of German football, this latest world cup will have reignited the memories for many.
The progress of the team from weak beginnings against Ireland and some would say lucky wins against Cameroon and Belgium swept along a nation on a wave of optimism, were this team finally the ones to make us World Champions again, would the much malign but hugely respected Robson be able to do something others had failed? Was Robson picking the team, or had the players decided to take control for fear of embarrassment under a system they disliked and found difficult?
Narrated by Gary Oldman who clearly has an interest, but whose South London accent now bears a startling resemblance to Russell Crowe's country spanning set of accents in Robin Hood doesn't get below the skin of the piece, the writing is dull and overplanned, whilst it lacks any real humour or sociological finality.
For me this wasn't necessary and takes away from a fantastic book, I would rather just watch the England matches again as I know the context of the games and what went on, with this DVD it simply tries to put it in a context which isn't even always correct (As the musical choices show on the soundtrack.)
The DVD is available for £6.99 via Amazon and I would suggest reading the book instead as this is a shallow imitation of the wonderful text it follows.
One Night In Turin is a documentary that covers England's attempt to win Italia '90, which for those of you who don't know was the football World Cup. Of 1990. Held in Italy. Or Italia as it's known by the locals.
Running at a slim 93 minutes the documentary, with a voiceover by Gary Oldman, is a stark reminder of just how different football was just 20 years ago. Through footage from both on and off the pitch the viewer revisits England on 1990, a swift montage of riots, Thatcher and football holliganism reminds us that it was a long way from the polished, pampered football of today. This is pre-Sky, pre-multibillionaire foreign club ownership, pre-fashion icon footballers, pre-family friendly stadia, it seems a hundred years ago, not twenty.
Before the tournament begins we're reminded of what the media and political opinion of football supporters, sorry, hooligans, was, how derided the "beautiful game" was and that Colin Moynihan, then sports minister, was a clueless tw*t.
The documentary then takes the viewer through the highs and lows of the English tournament, re-introducing us to the raw talent that was Paul Gascoigne, in itself almost sad to see considering his decline in recent years, showing us how the team refered to (by an ever supportive press) as Donkeys won over the support of a nation before building up to that highly emotional showdown in Turin.
I'm sure that there's very few folk who would be interested in reading this review that don't know whether or not England won the World Cup in 1990 but just in case, if you don't know skip the next paragraph.
Obviously we lost in the semi final against West Germany but even when you know it's possible to feel the nerves jangle and the heckles rise, the pulse quicken as the documentary heads into that last match (or last but one but no one really cares about the exhibition match for 3rd place). Even though you've seen Gazza cry a thousand times, even though you know where Waddle is going to put his penalty, it's hard not to get swept up in the moment. If you're an England supporter above the age of 30, if you can still remember where you watched the match first time round, it still packs a punch because we came so close.
*******************Spolilers off ***********************************************
Welcome back to those who skipped the above paragraph & yes, we won, it was great.
The documentary packs a punch but it's not a great film.
It triggers, or re-triggers, passions and anger. Anger at the way the hooligan element behaved, anger at the way the media and politicians tarred all supporters with the same brush, anger at how England were largely segregated from the rest of the competition. Passion for the game, hope even though we all know exactly how many little gold stars are on the England shirt, and in a final montage shame that we allowed the media and the politicians to attack those who saught to entertain, and sadness that Bobby Robson never lived his dream.
However, those emotions aren't triggered because of great editing, or a good soundtrack (though it is good), a great narrative or top production values. The emotions are triggered becuase it's about football and football is emotive. It's about England and England is emotive. It's about what could have been, hopes and dreams and it's a reminder of how far we've come (& whether we've been travelling in the right direction is another story).
So..... Should you buy this?
If you're a football fan who was around in 1990 then it's worth a watch even if it's just as a nostalgia trip, if you're younger than that but still an avid supporter of the national game then take a look, though you might want to watch it with your dad, or if you're stuck for a christmas pressie for your football loving grandad / uncle / milkman then why not.
It's probably not a good bet to get if for the wife or girlfriend unless she's a confirmed footie nut and if you buy it for yourself it's probably not the best idea to watch it with her. Who wants to explain to their other half that they're crying cos 20 years ago some bloke in short trousers failed to kick a bladder between two sticks?
One Night In Turin is currently available on DVD at Play.com for £6.99, £14.99 for blu-ray and even in book form although I'm guessing the experience is a tad different.
There's an assortment of special features such as directors commentary, storyboards, an interview with Pete Davies who wrote the book and some extra behind the scenes footage, none of which I've watched.
It's a 15 certificate and according to the rating on the back of the box contains one use of very strong language, though in my house there were several more on watching, including ****** when Waddle stepped up for the penalty, **** when he's kicked the ball and **** **** ******** ****** whenever Colin Moynihan was on screen