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Gordon McLeod is the manager of a second tier Scottish football team. Faced with pressure from his American owner, he is forced to bring on a marquee player to improve the fortunes of the team and prevents its being moved from the fiercely loyal town it's been for a century. Along the way, McLeod must battle his own demons, including long-standing tiffs with both his daughter and a former colleague who betrayed him. Written by
Didier Agathe plays for the "baddie" team Rangers in the film. In real life he played for their rivals Celtic. See more »
[who has just let the ball go through his legs for a goal]
Boss, I'm sorry. I should have shut my f-f-f-fucking legs.
No, son, no. Your mother should have shut hers.
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It's difficult to make a movie about football (soccer) that will satisfy one's appetite for interesting match scenes as well as a desire for a worthwhile plot. 'A Shot at Glory' certainly does not pull this off, but it is an attempt worth watching in any case.
The plot is rather mediocre, but at least it is somewhat linked to the fortunes of the team itself. Nosy American owner (Keaton) buys team, threatens to move it to Ireland if aging coach (Duvall) can't win the Scottish Cup. The second strand of the plot involves the former Golden Boot winner (McCoist) brought in by the owner, who is the somewhat estranged son-in-law of the coach. The third element, of course, is the performance of the team itself. There is certainly some awful dialog in the film, but it quickly passes from memory once the matches begin.
In comparison to 'Bend It Like Beckham' and 'Mean Machine,' the two football-related films 'A Shot at Glory' can easily be weighed against, the film at hand establishes itself as the clear choice in terms of the realism of the matches. The experience of watching each match is rather like watching a cinematic version of Championship Manager -- there is very little continuity between moves, but it somehow seems to make sense.
At the end of the day, 'A Shot at Glory' is well worth watching if you are looking for a well-executed football movie. The plot may be formulaic, but the match scenes put many others to shame.
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