Soccer Hooliganism Movies

Hooliganism is a well covered subject within cinema. The genre appears to hold a certain allure for several directors, although the quality of output in many of these films leaves plenty to be desired. Here is a look at five of the better known football hooliganism films.

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The Firm (1988)

Gary Oldman stars as the respectable family man who turns into an animal at weekends as he quenches his insatiable thirst for violence. "We come in peace, we leave you in pieces!" is the motto of West Ham’s Inter City Firm. The film chronicles the rise of hooliganism under Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Nick Love’s 2009 remake was entertaining but not as good as this.

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The Football Factory (2004)

Based on John King's cult 1996 novel, perennial onscreen lout Danny Dyer plays a young ruffian who has dedicated his life to "thieving, f***ing and fighting". Dyer plays Tommy Johnson who starts to wonder if a life in The Firm is for him. Like most films of this genre, The Football Factory glamorizes senseless violence and includes an impressive range of shaven-headed thugs. “What else you gonna do on a Saturday?”

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Green Street (2005)

An enjoyable enough 109 minutes, but this film is flawed if for no other reason than the baby-faced Elijah Wood’s failed attempt at the role of soccer thug. Charlie Hunnam’s endeavors to pull off the Cockney accent also make for interesting viewing. The film attempts to analyze the English fascination with hooliganism and despite some impressive extended fight scenes, it generally fails in the authenticity stakes.

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Cass (2008)

This film is based on the true story of an orphaned Jamaican baby, adopted by an elderly white couple and brought up in an all white area of London. Cass Pennant becomes the leader of West Ham’s Inter City firm and this film is adapted from the book he wrote about his experiences. The fight scenes leave plenty to be desired but the film’s interest lies in a black youngster growing up in the days before political correctness.

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Away days (2009)

This film follows the common plot device of an outsider fascinated by hooliganism, who eventually gets accepted into ‘The Pack’ after proving himself. But the young Carty’s involvement with a gang of northern English thugs breeds resentment in several quarters. The film features several knifings, as the gang follow their team Tranmere Rovers around the country carrying Stanley knives.