A young boy from a working class family in post-war Germany struggles with his estranged father returning from war captivity, while a friend of his plays for the German National Soccer Team at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland.
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The movie deals with the championship-winning German soccer team of 1954. Its story is linked with two others: The family of a young boy is split due to the events in World War II, and the father returns from Russia after eleven years. His problems in getting back to normal life are shown, with references to his children and wife. The second story is about a reporter and his wife reporting from the tournament.Written by
With 6 minutes still to play and heavy rain, the actor who portrays the German reporter re-enacts original radio footage. He says "the spectators, they don't hold out" ("die Zuschauer, sie harren nicht aus"). While this was factually incorrect as the spectators in fact did hold out, it is historically correct. Herbert Zimmermann, the German reporter who did the memorable radio broadcast, really said that. See more »
When Herberger and Fritz Walter are walking on the shores of Lake Thun the stern of a modern motor ship can be seen on the Lake. The filmed "MS Berner Oberland" was only put into operation in 1996. See more »
At the very end of the closing credits one can hear the original radio reporter signing off from the stadium in Bern. See more »
It's easy to appreciate how much of a morale boost to a country sporting victories are in international competition, particularly when that sport is almost the national religion as soccer is throughout Europe. But you don't need to be a soccer fan or a German to appreciate this wonderful film, where the pathos of a bittersweet family reunion when the father comes home from a Soviet work camp after 11 years is as much the centerpiece as the quiet optimism leading to the football win and the joy following it. Obviously Germany in 1954 was a country still rebuilding from its recently shattered past and that feeling is conveyed superbly. The end is charming, in fact the nicest closing scene I can remember.
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