Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Club (1980)

"In this club, nobody plays by the rules..."

Like a cross between Any Given Sunday and The Damned United. This film is more about the off-field battles between the coach and the board than it is about the sport itself.
It's the story of an Aussie Rules football team called Collingwood. They are being coached by Laurie Holden, an ex-pro who is going through a rough patch at the start of the regular season. This isn't helped by the fact that the board are going behind his back signing players without consulting him first. It just so happens that the club President Ted Parker has signed the best player in the league, parting with $10,000 of his own money to help push through the deal. But when the player is dropped by Laurie after a bad start to his Collingwood career, which coincides with the club losing 5 matches in a row, another board member (and ex-pro) Jock decides to take matters into his own hands with the club administrator. It's then down to the coach and the players to teach the board a lesson they won't ever forget, by starting to win games.

It's a fantastic little film and the fact that it decides to stick to the boardroom and background issues only makes it a better film in my opinion. It gives me a great behind the scenes look at how clubs like that were run back then.

Overall it's well acted, well thought out and well told. I cannot recommend this little gem highly enough.

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