One Night in Turin is the story of the England football team’s efforts to win the World Cup in Italy in 1990, when manager Bobby Robson and a side inspired by the flair of Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne made it through to the semi-finals against West Gemany before losing on penalties.
That’s the bare bones of the story, reports our sports correspondent Jim Fone, and filmgoers who couldn’t care less about football might wonder what all the fuss is about. However, the film suggests that this was a tournament and a game that changed the country for the better, with the team’s achievements bringing new pride and self-respect at a time of recession, poll tax riots, mad cow disease, and the misery of football hooliganism.
In Britain, 26 million viewers watched the semi-final in Turin, double the numbers for any previous sporting event. And when Gazza wept at the end of the game in disappointment and defeat, he showed a vulnerable side to the English that wasn’t apparent in the hooligans’ running battles with the Carabinieri.
Although the film is about more than football, it’s really a film for fans. All the memorable moments from the tournament are here: David Platt’s last-gasp winner against Belgium, Gary Lineker’s equaliser against West Germany, Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle’s agonising penalty misses and, of course, Gazza’s tears. It’s all set to a fantastic soundtrack, with music from The Stone Roses, James, Adamski and, inevitably, Luciano Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma.
One Night in Turin is a perfect taster for fans who can’t wait for the next instalment of England’s football obsession – the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which kicks off on 11 June.
On general release from 7th May and available on FilmFlex from 31st May.