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George Best: All by Himself (2016)

The rise and fall of football superstar, George Best.


Daniel Gordon


Peter Ettedgui


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Credited cast:
George Best ... Himself (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Angie Best Angie Best ... Herself
Calum Best ... Himself (archive footage)
Matt Busby Matt Busby ... Himself (archive footage) (as Sir Matt Busby)
Manchester United F.C. ... Themselves (archive footage)
Harry Gregg ... Himself
Elton John ... Himself (archive footage)
Ani Rinchen Ani Rinchen ... Herself
Mike Summerbee Mike Summerbee ... Himself
Northern Ireland National Football Team ... Themselves (archive footage)
Scotland National Football Team ... Themselves (archive footage)


Maradona. Pelé. Best. Northern Ireland's legendary star remains one of the most naturally gifted footballers there has ever been. Famously called the 'best player in the world' by Pelé, George Best galvanized Manchester United's five-year recovery from the tragedy of the Munich air crash. His skill and exuberance inspired them to win league titles and the European Cup, even though he was little more than a teenager. Tragically, his career in the upper echelons of sport was over before he turned 29, the result of his bruising battle with alcoholism and the crushing pressure of modern fame. (After all, this was Britain in the frenzy of Beatle-mania and 1960s youth culture, where Best was dubbed 'El Beatle' by the world's media.) Producer John Battsek (2016's Oscar-nominated Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, The Imposter, Project Nim) and director Daniel Gordon re-team after their acclaimed, Emmy-nominated Hillsborough to deliver a heart-breaking portrait of one of the world's...

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Official Sites:

Passion Pictures





Release Date:

21 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George Best See more »

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Production Co:

Passion Pictures See more »
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User Reviews

The Best of times, the worst of times
22 June 2017 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

Had to mark this the same number as Georgie's shirt number didn't I?

I once met George Best at a Sportman's Dinner in Glasgow a few years before he died and still have the picture to prove it. For me, he was and always will be the best footballer I'll ever see, above Pele, Maradona, Cruyff and certainly the overrated superstars of today like Messi and Ronaldo. As a player he had the lot, dribbling skill, two good feet, fine in the air, brave as a lion and an eye for goal. This unauthorised biography uses vintage footage of his life and times, combined with retrospective comments by fellow footballers and voice overs by the man himself. The story is ultimately a lonely at the top tragedy as the shy young Irish boy who ran away back home to his native Belfast after his first day of training as a 15 year old teenager with the mighty Manchester United only to return to play his first match at age 17 and quickly establish himself as the hottest new talent in the Football League. By the age of 22 he'd won the League, European Cup and been player of the year in England and indeed Europe.

If I was judging this film on George's peerless talent alone I'd give it a ten. Rarely seen archive footage tells the story in back to front fashion although by the halfway point, pretty much all the football action is over, bar one miraculous goal only he could have scored for the San Jose Earthquakes in America, which means much time is spent documenting his later battle against his addiction to drink until his sad death at only 59, although you actually wonder he got that far so excessive appears his off-field behaviour.

I'd have preferred to see more of the great goals he scored in his heyday and a little bit more of a salute to his fabulous skills on the field as opposed to his tribulations off it. I'd have also appreciated some reference to the famous partnership he formed up front with Law and Charlton, neither of whom hardly get a look-in. I also personally didn't think the Munich Air Disaster of 1958 was a necessarily important factor in his emergence as is perhaps made out here.

Best undoubtedly paved the way for latter-day multi-media superstars as Beckham, Ronaldo et al. but as is said repeatedly throughout he lacked the support he'd surely get today from media savvy back-up teams at the top clubs.

Now he's passed on, Belfast Airport is named after him and he'd still walk into any world best 11 football line up you'd care to mention. Although remembered as much sadly for his early retirement from the game at only 26 and his dissipation as a person over the rest of his life, I truly hope he'll be better remembered for his incredible sporting talent.

It's sad but true to say he was better with the ball than the world at his feet.

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