List Film

Once in a Lifetime - DVD review (3 stars)

Once in a Lifetime


(15) 95min (Pathé DVD retail)


When you think of the US and football, you might conjure up images of Diana Ross inadvertently destroying goalposts during the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony or the US being horsed by Iran four years later, but whatever you think of, it’s likely to include inglorious failure. The legacy of the mid-70s project to have US football (the non-helmeted kind) challenge the hegemony of baseball and American football (the helmeted kind) may be a credible national team but assembling the New York Cosmos was not without its blood-letting.

This entertaining but scrappy documentary shows us endless footage of Pelé, Beckenbauer and the others enticed to finish their careers playing in front of often half-full arenas alongside team mates who knew next to nothing about the game. Diverting extras include the failure of the producers to get anywhere near Pelé for an interview and the brief tale of the Haitian side who were due to play the Cosmos but disappeared, having used the visit to escape their homeland.


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