6.7/10
66
1 user 1 critic

Playing Away (1987)

To mark the conclusion of their "Third World Week" celebration, a cricket team in a small English village invites a black cricket team from South London to a charity game with comical results.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Beaton ... Willie Boy
... Godfrey
... Marjorie
... Derek
Brian Bovell ... Stuart
... Errol
Suzette Llewellyn ... Yvette
Trevor Thomas ... Jeff
Stefan Kalipha ... Louis
Bruce Purchase ... Fredrick
Sheila Ruskin ... Viv
Mark Barratt ... Kevin
Valerie Buchanan ... Pat
... Boots
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To mark the conclusion of their "Third World Week" celebration, a cricket team in a small English village invites a black cricket team from South London to a charity game with comical results.

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Comedy

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30 June 1988 (Australia)  »

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It's True
Written and Performed by Junior
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A Missed Opportunity
10 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

As an avid cricket fan, I am constantly puzzled and dismayed by the negative depiction of the sport on the big screen. Sadly, "Playing Away" is no exception.

A group of West Indian cricketers from inner city London are invited to participate in a charity match against a village team from rural Suffolk.

So far so good. But rather than portraying cricket as a potent social glue, the director instead chooses to use the game as a source of anger and bigotry. Throwing in some predictable racial stereotypes for good measure.

Indeed, the only time that black and white appear to reach an "understanding" is illustrated in a particularly tacky scene when one of the visiting players has sex with a local girl in the village churchyard.

"Playing Away" was released at a time in the eighties, when British movie makers felt compelled to "educate" their audiences about perceived social injustices rather than just try and actually entertain them.

Little wonder then, that UK cinema goers preferred watching Bruce Willis blowing up a fleet of jumbo jets in a vest as opposed to this moralistic claptrap.

I for one cannot blame them.


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