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From the Ashes (I) (2011)

 -  Documentary  -  10 May 2011 (UK)
7.7
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From The Ashes is an uplifting and remarkable tale of a summer that changed English sport forever. In July 1981, rioting and discontent ruled the streets of England. On the playing fields, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Ian Botham ...
Himself - England 1977-1992 (as Ian 'Beefy' Botham)
Mike Brearley ...
Himself - - England 1976-1981
Bob Willis ...
Himself - England 1971-1984
Kim Hughes ...
Himself - Australia 1977-1984
Rod Marsh ...
Himself - Australia 1970-1984 (as Rodney Marsh) (as Rod Marsh)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dickie Bird ...
Himself - Umpire (as Harold 'Dickie' Bird)
Graham Dilley ...
Himself - England 1979-1989
David Gower ...
Himself
Gideon Haigh ...
Himself - Journalist
Rodney Hogg ...
Himself - Australia 1978-1984
Geoff Lawson ...
Himself - Australia 1980-1989
Vic Marks ...
Himself - Journalist
Christopher Martin-Jenkins ...
Himself - Journalist
Mike Selvey ...
Himself - Journalist
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Storyline

From The Ashes is an uplifting and remarkable tale of a summer that changed English sport forever. In July 1981, rioting and discontent ruled the streets of England. On the playing fields, England was 1-0 down after two tests against old enemy, Australia, and iconic all-rounder Ian Botham, had resigned as English captain, hours before being pushed. Watching on was opposing Captain, Kim Hughes, the Golden Boy of Australian sport. Brilliant and eloquent, he seemed to be a master of the universe. With English cricket on the brink, bookmakers offered odds of 500-1 against an English win in the 3rd test. Yet, Botham would not lie down and rediscovered his cavalier flair in a series of remarkable, match-winning performances that defined him and saw The Ashes returned home. Packed with match action and interviews with the chief protagonists - including Botham, Gower, Willis, Marsh, Hughes and more - From The Ashes is set over one tempestuous month and tells the story of one of the most ... Written by Anonymous

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In a time of Crisis ... A Nation needs a Hero

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10 May 2011 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Out of adversity comes triumph.
9 May 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

From the Ashes is written and directed by James Erskine and narrated by Tom Hardy. It takes a look at the England v Australia Test Cricket Series in 1981.

"I think I'll bring the Gorilla on at the far end"

From the Ashes is essential viewing for cricket fans, whoever they support in the world. It showcases not just the considerable talents of England's greatest all rounder, Ian Botham, but also why the game of cricket is so loved by those who stand proud to be counted as fans. The documentary, however, is not just concerned with the sport of cricket, it's very aware of the impact that a country's sports stars can have on the nation.

Brearley was Botham's Spock to his Kirk.

The 1981 Ashes series was played to the backdrop of social discord as Thatcher's government oversaw strikes, riots and unemployment carnage. Britain was falling to its knees, and as the England cricket team, with their figurehead Botham misfiring and under fire in the press, fell behind to a cock-a-hoop Australia, apathy ruled and the crowds did dwindle. Leeds in mid July and England, the cricket team, were spiralling towards a certain defeat, but cometh the hour, cometh the men (Botham and Bob Willis), out of darkness comes light, the miracle of Headingly not only transformed a sporting series that England would amazingly win, it put the smile back on the faces of a working class Britain that had forgotten to do so.

Full of insightful input by the key Australians of that series (characters supreme they be as well), Erskine is not all about flag waving for Britannia, in fact a post script on the next Ashes series ensures we know about how Australian captain Kim Hughes (a beautiful and correct batsman himself) also came out of that cricket darkness. There's anecdotes, rivalries and revelations aplenty, while a soundtrack boasting the likes of The Clash, Ten Pole Tudour, The Specials, The Police, New Order and Squeeze sets the tone perfectly. The sound mix and editing is top draw as well (love those sound bites of a dramatic cricket incident played to a photographic still that says it all), and Hardy's narration proves he is heir apparent to Brian Blessed's crown!

Many other sports have participants these days that fail to realise just how their efforts can lift a nation, make them feel good in times of struggle, to play for what is on your chest and not what is in your wallet. From the Ashes at its core is about that, it's an ode to being all that you can be, to inspire, even if it happens to be only briefly. 9/10


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