From the Ashes (12A)

  • 12A
  • James Erskine (2011)
  • UK
  • 98 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Director James Erskine's follow-up to One Night in Turin is an enjoyably old-fashioned sporting documentary that ably places the 1981 battle for the Ashes in the context of both a summer of discontent and the turbulent career of cricketing legend Ian Botham. The great all-rounder's disastrous stint as captain came to an end amid urban riots sparked by racial tensions and the gruelling effects of Mrs Thatcher's economic policies. But, while England could restore 39-year-old Mike Brearley to the post to boost Beefy's confidence with bat and ball, Australia went into meltdown under Kim Hughes, a skipper not popular with senior pros Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh. Combining BBC highlight clips with recollections by players and journalists, Erskine revisits the unlikely victories at Headingley, Edgbaston and Old Trafford with a restrained triumphalism that conveys how the series win did as much to raise the nation's spirits as Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding. Tom Hardy's narration is occasionally over the top and things peter out before the Oval test, but few cricket lovers will complain.

Plot Summary

Cricket documentary about the remarkable summer of 1981. With rioting on the streets and discontent around the country, the Ashes series saw England down 1-0 after two tests against the Australians. The next month would push cricket onto the front pages, and elevate ebullient all-rounder Ian Botham into a sporting icon.

Cast and crew


Tom Hardy
Ian Botham
Ian Botham
David Gower
David Gower
Dickie Bird
Dickie Bird


James Erskine

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Kaleidoscope Entertainment
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 6 May 2011