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  • bowey29 September 2001
    My A***
    This film is almost a remake of the documentary about England's Manager Graham Talyor made during the qualification for the 1994 world cup. It follows a below par manager from the lower leagues who has to take on the England job when no-one else wants it. There are loads of hilarious scenes and those who know football will recognize plenty of characters based on real people in the football world. There are several good performances but Ricky Tomlinson steals the show as Mike Bassett, the part in the film when he loses his temper at half time is hilarious made even funnier as all the bad language is bleeped out and believe me the bleeping is the only thing you hear. Top draw film, one every football fan MUST SEE!!!!!!!!!!
  • Mike Bassett:England Manager is a mock documentary about a new England Manager and the trials and tribulations he goes through during qualification and subsiquant world cup in Brazil. There are loads and loads of funny moments in this film and i promise you even if you are not a football fan you will like this a lot. Basically we see Ricky Tomlinson brilliantly playing the new England snatched from the first division as manager of Norwich City into the spotlight.We see all the things that really happen to England managers but exagerated ten fold with very funny consiquences such as the moment he wrote his first England team down on a fag packet and gave it to his P.A to type out for the press , 10 minutes later there were two new players added to the squad.......Benson & Hedges!!. One uncanny thing that does come out of the film is the results in the world cup, England beat Argentina 1-0 and go out of the tournement to Brazil ., exactly what happens a year after the film is made in the real world cup in Japan! 8 out of 10.
  • siideri_lasu8 August 2003
    A great piece of work, the men responsible for the movie chose the right attitude by using the angle of comedy, cause that's the only way to make a sports movie, a sports event can never be moved to the screen succesfully (except maybe Chariots of Fire) in a realistic way since the whole idea of it is that you don't have clue who's going to win until it's all over.

    Although I'm not from the UK I did get most of the jokes since I follow footie a lot and am a big fan of the game.

    a big thumbs up for the crew and actors, "Mike Bassett" is simply brilliant.
  • took the girlfriend to see this one and apart from the few sight gags she didnt really get any of the jokes. However if you are a fan of the beautiful game this will tickle you immensely. There are loads of football in-jokes such as the 'gazza', Stuart Pearce/Vinnie Jones and Ian Wright characters. Very much in the Peter Kay style of understated spoofs

    3/10 if you're not into football 9/10 if you are
  • Nobody wants the England manager's job so the Football Association appoint Norwich City's Mike Bassett (Tomlinson) mainly on the strength of his team's victory in the third rate Clutch Cup! Bassett might not be the world's most tactically astute manager, but the journeyman ex-player possesses an undoubted love and passion for the beautiful game and an ambition (with the notable influence of Rudyard Kipling) to win the World Cup!!!

    Grossly unsubtle and saturating hits on it's obvious targets, MB:EM is nevertheless a frequently likeable, occasionally hilarious and poignantly accurate journey on the roller-coaster that is following an under-achieving football giant towards potential footballing Shangri-La. The barbs against the FA despite being razor sharp become tediously repetitive and the character assassination of Paul Gascoigne verges on slanderous but, despite these qualms, the basic premise and the story's foundations are undeniably heartfelt and evocative: The crap qualifying; the false promise borne from results beyond our control; the singular world-beating performance and the 'bridge to far' appearance against feted opposition. All these elements fit snugly into the mockumentary style and, together with Tomlinson's energetic, frenetic and ultimately sympathetic performance (the 'forlorn loser in the hotel bedroom' scene towards the end is class pathos) create a worthy cinematic addition to our (attempts at) understanding of why twenty two men kicking a sphere around a field might cause us such replete apoplexy!

    And it erases When Saturday Comes from the record of last great (!) English football pic!
  • The thing about this film is that although it is obviously an exaggeration of the English soccer scene, it comes perilously close to the truth. It is certainly true that thanks to a ruthless gutter press, the England manager's job is a poisoned chalice, and no one wants it. One can remember how Kevin Keegan was practically forced into the job, a job for which he was ill-suited; and, in fairness to Mr Keegan, he knew it and resigned quite quickly. In this film, in need of an England manager, the Football Association offer the job to a second rater, brilliantly played by Ricky Tomlinson.

    The film is full of little exaggerations. There is a quick shot of the back of the English goalkeeper, with an enormous pony tail. And my favourite scene is where the England squad meets the Republic of Ireland team comprising of English players sporting their new Irish accents. And of course the classic scene: Mike Bassett's half-time talk.

    This film is brilliantly done. Certainly the best soccer film I have seen.
  • roryeverett26 January 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    When I first saw the trailer for this film I thought, doesn't look to promising, and not being a great lover of British films I wasn't expecting much. Then...Once I watched; it shot into my top 10 films of all time. This film is hilarious from start to finish. Ricky Tomlinson, Dean Lennox Kelly and Bradley Walsh are great. There are so many must see scenes in this film; examples: When the England Team are in the changing room taking a lecture from the Manager(Tomlinson) When the Captain leads the team out of the changing room and puts his fist through the wall When Tonkinson (Dean Lennox Kelly) scores with his hand (Diego Maradona style) against Argentina, and celebrates by taking his clothes off and dives on the floor With Pelé also starring, - this a must-see for all Comedy and Football(Soccer) Fans.
  • This mock documentary about an England World Cup campaign has many funny moments, but it can only fully be appreciated by people with a good knowledge of English football.

    The film is clearly modeled after the famous Channel 4 documentary "Graham Taylor: The impossible job", it only had to ever so slightly caricature its real life model to turn it into farce. As a result, the film has moments where it is hilarious and strangely realistic at the same time. Proof of that came a few years after the film was made, at Euro 2004, when David Beckham missed a penalty in almost exactly the same way (and by the same margin) as the England striker in this film.

    Not all the jokes work, e.g. the car salesman turned England coach trying to flock Korean cars to England players just did not not ring true, but others were close enough to real life to make me laugh out loud, e.g. the video tape incident or the Pele interview.

    The film will probably find it hard to find an appreciative audience outside Britain (certainly outside Europe), because there are too many footballing in-jokes. For example, when we hear about Mike's playing career with stints at Doncaster Rovers and Crewe Alexandra then this is very telling to a British audience, and the avid football follower in the rest of Europe can just about get the gist of it, but everybody else would be left bemused.
  • When the stress of the job gives the manager of England's national football team a stroke, the call goes out to Europe to find a quality manager to take over. When that call goes unanswered the FA are forced to look within the English game and, having been turned down by everyone else, employ Division 1 manager Mike Bassett who has just won the cup with Norwich. With three games left and one win needed to get into the World Cup finals, can Mike's strategy of the standard 4-4-2, aggressive old-school captain and rubbish penalty takers see the team through the qualification stages? This film was pretty well timed when it was released because, with Sven in charge it looked like the days of uninspiring old-school English football managers who shout and swear were long over and so it was easier to laugh at the "old days" being sent up by this film. Of course watching it now, jokes about England underachieving are perhaps not that funny (although as a Northern Ireland supporter I can always find a chuckle when it comes to English misfortune). However, if you are a follower of football in England then this film will be enjoyable even if it is pretty basic and lines up loads of easy targets from the start. The actual "plot" is not that good and the cracks do begin to show in the final third when it goes from a series of jokes to try and become an actual narrative but, aside from these problems it surprised me by how entertaining it was. Of course I wasn't roaring with laughter but it sent up plenty of easy targets and had enough going for it to keep me consistently amused and interested and, as with all sports movies, the "must win" game with pumping music is always an easy thing to pull out of the bag.

    The cast are fairly obvious and it is no wonder that none of them were mentioned when the awards ceremonies came around. Tomlinson is a convincing old-style manager who sends up Graham Taylor in particular with his comparison to vegetables and his swearing rants. He brings out some compassion from the character although I felt that the subplot with his family suffering abuse was poorly handled and seemed out of place. Support is good with the targets all covered, from the old men of the FA to the bloodlust journalists and fighting English thugs. None of them really do anything special but Walsh, Jackson, Jupitus and others are supported well with cameos from Pele, Basir and a few others.

    Overall this isn't a particularly clever film but it has plenty of easy targets to aim at and it does manage to hit most of them. It isn't hilarious but I found it consistently amusing throughout, although it did weaken a bit towards the end. Outside of football fans and those with a knowledge of England I can't imagine this film going down too well but if you are in both of those camps then it is likely that you'll enjoy this even if it is fairly basic stuff.
  • Unlike most football related films this one actually references real football rather than a dreamy game that the good guys always win in the end.

    As with any sport related movie though it has limited appeal outside of someone that has an interest and understanding of the "Beautiful Game". In this case more so as really you need to be English and have suffered English international football to understand everything the film has to offer.

    The jokes don't always 'hit the back of the net' but there is no need to 'send this one off' - (sorry for the puns).

    On the whole an enjoyable diversion that sometimes does cut close to the bone (especially as the F.A. are falling apart us as I write this).
  • Filmed as a 'docu-soap' this raises many laughs. I must admit that I'm an avid football fan and saw the jokes relating to famous players, which might have been otherwise vague for people not so clued-up on the subject.

    However, there are enough comic situations relating to anyone who is disorganised, trying organise something. Non-footy fans will get these jokes.

    The manager of the England team, Mike Bassett, is thrown into a situation that he really cannot handle, and most Brits will recognise this, but the feeling is probably universal for all sports.

    Quite reminiscent of 'This is Spinal Tap'.

    Putting the actual football jokes aside, there's enough here for anyone to enjoy about incompetence, be it in business, or any other industry.
  • Mike Basset: England Manager is pretty good fun but I couldn't help but think that it should have had more jokes packed into the script as there are only a handful of moments that might make you laugh out loud.

    The documentary style is very much like TV's Operation Good Guys, but that show had a greater joke ratio, so maybe this movie will work even better on the small screen.

    Any production with Ricky Tomlinson and Phill Jupitus in the cast is certainly always going to be worth checking out, but I just got the feeling that it could/should have been funnier.

    That said it does provides decent entertainment and is still well worth watching.
  • Not everyone will like or understand this film, but for those who do this is a brutally funny satirical comedy and a very accurate reflection of English attitudes towards the national football team. 'Mike Bassett: England Manager' is probably one of my personal favourite mockumentaries and a film I always return to for a good laugh, especially when the World Cup / Euros are on.

    Ricky Tomlinson is what makes this film with his hilarious performance as Mike Bassett. I doubt any actor could have done as good a job, he was perfect for this role and many of the laughs are down to him. It would have been great if the rumours of a sequel would have materialised, we need more of Mike Bassett! A very funny and accurate mockumentary, not for everyone but a much watch for those who enjoy British satire.
  • This is the one film I pass along to my friends. Not because they are football/soccer fans. It doesn't matter if they are or not. Forget the synopsis. The central story is that of the England Manager. Let's admit it, he's a bit of a screw up. He picks the wrong players for his team, picks his assistants for the wrong reasons. He only gets the England job because the men the FA really want to give it to refuse to accept it. But there is something very very likable about him. He is in a way, an everyman. Someone who tries hard but life seems to give a few kicks to. Like most of us.

    This is a comedy, make no mistake. But what separates it from average is it's heart. When England struggle game after game and the dream job turns to a nightmare for the manager we watch as the stress takes hold. It even starts to tear apart his personal life. It culminates at the media center just before England final group stage match and just after Mr. Bassett has been caught in a display of public drunkenness.

    There, the men of the press, the self appointed voice of the public, demand his resignation. When he refuses, it causes a riot with cat calls from certain reporters. Quietly, while the reporters scream, Bassett reads the Kipling poem. A poem that has been his personal mantra through life. Which basically says stay true to your heart and do what you know is right. His poem silences his critics and upon completion he utters the now famous (for us Mike Bassett lovers) "England will be playing four, four, fu**ing two!" Which really is an exclamation mark for the poem. Stay true to your heart. And in this case, England do what you do best.

    If I have made a mess of explaining why I love this film I only say this. Thank you to the filmmakers for this little bit of brilliance. It's hard enough to find a film that makes you laugh. But finding one that makes you laugh and touches your heart at the same time is indeed rare.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is funny, emotional and true to life. At a press conference before England's make or break game against Argentina, the British reporters call for Mike to resign. After so many poor results and experimental formations, including one called the Christmas Pudding, they think his time as manager should be over. After being shouted down into silence by the reporters Mike quietly begins to recite the poem 'IF' by Rudyard Kipling, his voice and his passion rising with every line. Having said the final lines,"Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!" he stands triumphant and proclaims "England play 4-4-f**king-2!" and then storms out. As the poem he chose says, IF!, if only Sven had watched this film before the 2006 world cup!
  • An absolute classic send up of English football and football in general. The mockumentry style chosen by the filmmakers gives the film a sense of realism in parts. The film is dominated by the title character of Mike Bassett with everyone else grabbing small parts when they can. Most of the players are take offs of real English players. Tonkinson-Gascoigne, Harpsey-Beckham, Wackett-Jones etc. This film is probably very unfunny to people that have no knowledge of football as much of the laughs result from in jokes that only football fans will get. That said, Bassetts half time address during the Mexico game would make anybody laugh as much as the subsequent three cheers for Rameriz at the post game analysis. The final game is a great take on the football relationship between England and Argentina with Tonkinsons own Hand of God goal with the commentators dismissing calls for a handball saying against Argentina you've got to be kidding. In all a very good film if you have some knowledge of football
  • Mike Bassett: England Manager digs out every footballing stereotype and cliché ever known to man, but is executed amusingly and actually quite pertinently with a wonderful central performance from Ricky Tomlinson. Shot in a mockumentary style, akin to "This Is Spinal Tap", it's never as funny as Rob Reiner's masterpiece, but will certainly keep most football fans laughing for it's duration.

    Mike Bassett is the last throw of the dice for the England team. He is an old-fashioned manager, who writes his team selection on the back of a cigarette packet and loves the 4-4-2 formation. With England's team comes the playboy, the striker out of form, the wonderfully gifted yet socially reckless playmaker and the psychopathic captain. Bassett also has to deal with the unforgiving press and having his son teased at school.

    There are some wonderful moments in it, most of which will be lost on anyone who doesn't watch football. Highlights include an ill-fated trip to a sports science centre and Basset almost losing his job over a drunken spectacle in a bar. It's not brilliant, and won't stand the test of time. But it certainly has it's moments, and does what is required of it. Only in England could you make something as cynically amusing as this.
  • I loved this film. For anyone who has suffered the traumas of following England this is a must.

    Ricky Tomlinson is brilliant as Mike Bassett who is totally out of his depth as England Manager but can hold his own in any drinking contest. The cameo appearances by the likes of Pele, Ronaldo, Phil Jupitus, Gabby & Barry and Keith Allen singing the England World Cup song "On me 'ead!" with Atomic Kitten add to the feel that is a real documentary.

    Bassett is manager of Norwich when the FA turns to him in desperation. He brings with him enthusiasm but little else and promises to win the world cup in Brazil with a team of demoralised players who qualify eventually thanks to the unlikely scenario of Turkey losing to Luxembourg.

    The brawl at Rio airport between the England, Scotland and Ireland players is a classic as is the defeat of Argentina with a blatant hand ball.

    Totally tongue in cheek, great stuff.
  • This film is not the funniest or most realistic football film but has to be judged for what it is. This film captures the life of an under pressure international manager and his journey to the world cup. This film takes the mick out of the "old school" way many football teams used to be run and mirrors the Jack Charlton era of Irish football. Unorganised, unprofessional and alcohol fueled management. The audience has to look deeper than the idiocy of most of the players and coaching staff and realise that this films message is one that shows us that if you give your all for something you love, in the end (with a bit of luck) you will get your reward. This is a film that will make you laugh if you have ever played Sunday league football and will also make you cry if you love the beautiful game enough to understand how Mike Bassetts mind works. This film can be summed up in one scene (one of my favourites) when Bassett recites Rudyard Kiplings "If". Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, and - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Mike Bassett : England Manager is a great film to kick-start your summer with. The combination of comedy and a great storyline is brilliant, mixed with what we expect from Ricky Tomlinson and thats great acting. It is a film to wipe away those holiday blues when England have once again failed in the World Cup or Euro. It can make you see the funny, and dreary sides of being with the England squad. Ricky Tomlinson's team have facial characteristics form past england players, including a David Seaman look-a-like and two brother players, presumably based upon the Neville brothers. The team have their highs and lows during the World Cup they are competing in, but Bassett never gives up, and takes his team to further than they expect.. Martin Bashir does a simple yet effective 'documentation' to the entire film, as that is how it is filmed - Englands road to the World Cup. The acting from the England players is good, Ricky Tomlinson shows how he can act both emotionally and humorously. The music in the film is also great and sets the tones for the time of year, with a good song to end the film form Robbie Williams. Laughs, laughs and.. more? Definitely!
  • Here we have a great docudrama solely dedicated to the sport that all Europeans love: Football, yes FOOTBALL. Credit to the filmmakers for keeping it British in the sense they didn't crack and call it soccer this time round.

    Mike Bassett: England Manager is a surreal yet glorious look at how the England manager is and can be treated by the English press and media following results. We get the superb feel of the film immediately as a familiar face is narrating and interviewing which makes it seem as if you're watching a genuine TV documentary on football but really, you're seeing a fictitious story on one of England worst/best managers ever.

    The likeliness' to former manager Graham Taylor come pretty thick and fast when we're dealing with the World cup Qualifying segment and all though he never actually lost a home qualifier at Wembley, (That was Hoddle) we are still feeling the pain and frustrating that we would with any England home defeat, let alone to the Poles of whom we ALWAYS seem to draw in the qualifying stages- they are often seen as the 'old enemy' in preliminary stages.

    The fact that we see England almost manage to 'scrap through in the end' and little things like that such as relying on another team to win after a disappointing result can be likened to real life experiences and can really remind us of the sheer gut-ache and nervousness all England fans have been through in the past. The pain, the glory, the moments where you just can't look. Of course, all these emotions just come when you're an England fan and they seem to creep back now and again here. Similar to 'The Blair Witch Project', "Just keep telling yourself it's a movie!"

    Where terrible pain, comes devine retribution and the fact that a few of the results in this film DID in fact come true is rather a spooky twist. It appears the filmmakers tried to create drama and heartache by making the events in this film happen. They obviously thought it would make for good viewing. Oddly enough, just a year later, the exact same results against the exact same teams in similar rounds happened only in the REAL thing: World Cup 2002. So the fictional drama events was classy - and that transforms into non-fiction drama events, ie the real matches in the real World Cup. The same things happen and the same feeling dawns- immense joy and satisfaction at one point, 'so close' heartache at another.

    All in all, this delightful look at the England managers job and England's football in general is a delight and there are just enough moments to keep you interested and alert that it IS a comedy. Such as training with a pretend football and the assistant England coach giving a jumbled reply when being interviewed with very basic questions. There's something in the film that ALL us Football fans can relate to.
  • This film is a great movie for football fans over 13,who have seen the England team fall to bits every time the get close to winning anything.The film shows moments most fans can identify with and now laugh at.......the people who don't like this film are rugby or cricket fans,boring people with no idea about football,who crawl out of the woodwork every time england play and cheer for heskey..........WELL YOU WOULD NOT CHEER FOR HIM IF YOU SAT IN ROW Z....AND HAD TO DUCK EVERY TIME HE HAD A SHOT.....The people who like this film must be people with one thing in common......thats right your English and no matter how bad it gets just remember one thing....Scotland..... see how much worse it could have been.
  • At last a football film made for football fans. Mike Bassett: England Manager to put it bluntly, is ace. This film had the potential to be a real stinker but casting Ricky Tomlinson as Mike Bassett gave the film a kick start from the beginning.

    To people who have no interest in football, this is probably not the film for you. But to those England fans who have ever cried into your pint after a penalty shoot-out defeat, or danced the conga, naked through a pub, singing "'s coming..Footballs coming home..", then you'd be mad to miss this!

    There is a particularly sweet moment towards the end of the film when England face the Argies. 8/10
  • A desperate England soccer association appoints First Division Norwich's manager as the new England manager because no one else wants the job.

    Told in a semi documentary "Spinal Tap" style this agreeable comedy follows the efforts of the titular head coach to get a woeful England side through to the World Cup finals.

    Followers the England squad's past fortunes will no doubt find plenty to empathize with here as the team struggle to find their form crashing out to a 2-0 defeat against Poland in the first game

    Although the movie starts of a bit slowly, stick with it, as once things gets going there's plenty of laughs to be had as Bassett tries to lick his team into shape, with scientific sports training, more system changes than you can shake a stick at, and attempting to convince his oddball squad that they actually can win

    It might not be the greatest comedy you'll ever see, but there's enough fun to be had to make it a worthwhile hour and a half or so of your time.
  • This is more a special for tv than a movie.but i liked it some of the deleted scenes were funny too.Tomlinson is perfect as the manager.however graham taylor in do i not like that is far funnier and real.what a shame that isnt on dvd
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