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 »
In one training scene, we see a scoreboard mounted on a standard 20ft-container. But standard 20ft-containers were not available in 1954. 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 »
Can 120 minutes about football be interesting? Surprisingly, they really are!
Even though or rather because it has more of a family drama than of a thrilling sports movie, it achieves to entertain as well as touch the spectators for two solid hours. Actually, the family story is perfectly integrated in the circumstances of 1954's football world-cup and shows in a very sensitive way the changes that this game, especially the finals with their victory over Hungary, have on the focused family in special and on whole Germany - which is still depressed by the misery caused by the second world war - in general. Becoming - for the very first time - football's world champion gives the country back its hopes for the future and people's joy in life. Matthis' father, and with him the whole family finally finds back to themselves. This movie perfectly holds the balance between sad and joyful scenes which, together with a decent sense of humor, never lets the story drift to one side. The spectators can truly feel with the well played characters of the family members and their progress throughout the events. Finally, the movie leads into a satisfying end without getting trashy.
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