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The Penalty King (2006)

 -  Comedy  -  7 November 2006 (UK)
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Lee, a soccer player who descends into depression when he goes blind, is encouraged to take up the game again by a maverick American and the inspiration of Leeds Utd legend, Billy Bremner.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Vaughan
Sandra Reeves
Peter Lorimer ...
Leeds United Fan
Patrick Micallef ...
Charlie Howard
Jane Peachey ...
Gina Blackwell
Dave Mounfield ...
Derek the Manager
Duncan Henderson ...
Jim the Psycho Postman
Daniel Rabin ...
Jason Thompsett
Samantha Beckinsale ...
Maddie Vaughan
Frank Jarvis ...
Mr. McClintock
Des McAleer ...
Denis Cleghorn
Shelley De Moussin
Tara Keatley ...
Daniella Funnell
Georgina Tasker ...
David Earl ...
Tony Queen


Lee, a soccer player who descends into depression when he goes blind, is encouraged to take up the game again by a maverick American and the inspiration of Leeds Utd legend, Billy Bremner.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If Andrey Tarkovsky ever made a pub football movie . . . See more »





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Release Date:

7 November 2006 (UK)  »

Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)

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Charlie Howard: Your disability is our opportunity
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Remake of Bury It (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Football from the dark side
9 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was fortunate enough to see this movie at a 'Premier' in the writer/directors home town of Brighton. Whilst I have to say that the home town ambiance added to the occasion, the viewing experience was often an uncomfortable one and not quite what I had expected from a football-comedy-drama. What is evident is that said writer/ director Chris Cook has a real talent. For a movie made on such a low budget and with a procession of technical operators, his ability to maintain a consistent atmosphere and tempo is a tribute to a skill honed on more modest offerings, but showcased brilliantly here in his first feature. This epic project took some 8 years to reach fruition, and his desire to complete it is clearly due to his obvious love for both Sunday football and Leeds United FC. It probably doesn't pay to wonder quite what drives Cooks mind as the darker corners of this movie are really unsavoury places to be. After all, a film about a blind Sunday league footballer who works in a social services disabled equipment loan store and supports Leeds United is not that grim a premise (is it?). But don't buy this movie expecting a Bend it Like Beckham or One Jimmy Grimble, or you will be in for quite a shock.

Cook elicits consistent performances from a cast of principally unknown, and in some cases never-to-be-seen-again actors, sprinkled with a few 'names' and familiar faces from TV and film. A feisty Claire Grogan brings added cache to the piece as the overtly dominant boss of the loan store, the only down side being the inevitable references to her previous work, and trust me this is no Gregory's Girl. But to be fair any contrived comparison to one of the best football comedies ever made is none the less flattering.

If I have to be critical of the film, the script often lacked direction and the sub-plots were inconclusive and at times superfluous. For a comedy film it lacked humour and often lazily reverted to cliché and profanity, but some of the set pieces were laugh-out-loud funny which was consolation indeed. Again on the plus side the soundtrack was fantastic and really kept things going when the pace looked like flagging. It's well known that Tarantino selects his soundtrack before the first line of the script gets written and this could have been the case here, so strong and relevant was the music choice. Also the lighting, editing and camera-work particularly in the 'darker' scenes belied the low budget and again demonstrate Chris Cook's skills as a movie maker. I hope the film gains cult status and allows us to see Cook behind a camera again sometime soon, I will wager that he ventures into horror in the near future, which with his record may be some ten years away, but if that's how long it takes I will be first in line to watch, I am already a fan.

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