One Night in Turin (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/05/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Well made, impressively directed documentary that's enjoyable and fascinating for both football fans and non-fans alike.

What's it all about?
Directed by James Erskine, One Night in Turin is a comprehensive documentary that takes a match-by-match, goal-by-goal look at England's progress through the 1990 World Cup, culminating in the heartbreaking semifinal in Turin, between England and West Germany. Narrated by Gary Oldman, the film charts the turnaround in the national profile of both England and manager Bobby Robson, both in the media and with supporters.

The Good
Erskine does an excellent job of setting the scene, both politically and socially at the time, with Tory Sports Minister Colin Moynihan waging war against football hooliganism both at home and abroad and the tabloids basically demanding Robson's head on a plate for a series of poor performances. The film also focuses on the media attention around newly-signed, hotheaded star Paul Gascoigne (his monosyllabic appearance on an early incarnation of the Jonathan Ross show is one of many highlights) as well as the violent clashes between England fans and Italian police, who weren't above rounding up and deporting large numbers of England supporters just to make a political gesture.

Erskine has assembled a wealth of terrific archive material, including several interviews with Robson himself and some superb behind-the-scenes footage of the players, whether during training sessions or relaxing by the pool. In addition, Oldman's narration is extremely well written and is almost poetic at times, heightened by a brilliantly chosen soundtrack that perfectly captures the atmosphere of the time.

The Great
On top of that, the film is superbly paced and edited and by the time it reaches its emotional climax, you'll be hard pressed to avoid shedding a few surreptitious tears, regardless of whether or not you're a football fan.

Worth seeing?
In short, One Night in Turin is a well made, impeccably researched and thoroughly entertaining documentary that marks director James Erskine out as a talent to watch and is equally accessible to football fans and non-fans alike. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

One Night in Turin (PG)
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Content updated: 11/12/2017 00:31

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