The Great Game (1953)

  |  Comedy, Drama, Sport

The Great Game (1953) Poster

The wealthy chairman of First Division Football Club, Burnville United, makes an unethical approach to a star player of another club, and the ensuing scandal costs him his job.


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24 January 2020 | boblipton
| The Business of Football
James Hayter is in charge of the local football club, and it's a team in the First Division. It's also in last place, and about to be dropped to the Second Division. Ignoring his faltering printing business, he looks around for talent, and in walks Glyn Houston, who wants to marry Sheila Shand Gibbs, the least competent member of his staff. Houston is a leading player on a poorly funded team, so Hayter buys his contract, blesses the union, and thinks his troubles are over. They're not. The people in charge of the other team let slip that Hayter recruited Houston, and a scandal erupts.

Maurice Elvey's movie is centered on the economic paradoxes of football in the era. The players are nominally amateur, so while his contract is worth £20,000, he takes home £14 a week for working in Hayter's printing business, which also makes a lot of money off the contract for programs.

Diana Dors is second-billed as a mercenary young woman, and Thora Hird has a sizable role as the effective manager of the shop. There's a bit of HOBSON'S CHOICE in the story, and some favorite actors, like John Laurie and Frank Pettingell to liven the confusion.

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Comedy | Drama | Sport

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