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Best

  • Sport
  • News and current affairs
  • 2017
  • Daniel Gordon
  • 92 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Daniel Gordon's film charts the life of George Best, whose footballing skills gave him a celebrity that was the equal of the Beatles'. But despite his prodigious talent, Belfast-born Best struggled with inner demons that would ultimately undermine his career.

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Review

There have been numerous accounts of the rise and fall of George Best, arguably the most talented footballer to emerge from the British Isles. But director Daniel Gordon, who proved his pedigree with documentaries on Hillsborough and the Ben Johnson 100m race at the Seoul Olympics, produces a beautifully balanced perspective that extols Best’s sublime skills while offering sobering analysis of how unprecedented fame (for a footballer in the 1960s), alcohol and his inner demons halted his career.

The familiar feel-good details are here in this film (first shown in 2017), of a teenage prodigy from Belfast whose wizardry galvanised Manchester United to European Cup glory. However, much of this riveting, illuminating film reflects on Best’s life after 1968: his frustration with United’s lack of vision after the departure of Matt Busby; tabloid torment and domestic decline; and his career in the US, an initially happy time for himself and first wife Angie… until he bought a pub.

Gordon’s film is neither a hagiography nor a hatchet job, thanks to incisive input from George’s wives Angie and Alex, ex-players Mike Summerbee and Pat Crerand, and the doyen of sports journalists, Hugh McIlvanney. Ultimately, it’s a poignant and tragically familiar tale of a great talent wasted (he died in 2005, aged 59). But what a talent.

Credits

Cast

rolename
George BestGeorge Best
Angie BestAngie Best
Pat CrerandPat Crerand
Mike SummerbeeMike Summerbee
Alex BestAlex Best
Hugh McIlvanneyHugh McIlvanney

Crew

rolename
DirectorDaniel Gordon

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dogwoof
Released on
2017-02-24
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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