10 Must-See Football Hooligan Films
There's no doubt there's still a huge appetite for British football hooligan films and while sky and the FA do their upmost to destroy our beautiful game by turning it into a sterile prawn sandwich over-priced commodity that working people struggle to afford, football including some of the less Savoury aspects of it remains very much part of our culture.
The Firm (1989) Alan Clarke
Gary Oldman is Bex Bissell, a respectable estate agent who loves his wife, loves his son and loves his violence. Bex is the leader of a gang of football supporters known as the Inter-City Crew (ICC) - his firm. He plans to unite plans to unite rival firms and lead them all to the Euro's in Germany, a chance to take on the locals. But this is a position he's going to have to fight for. With its graphic scenes of running battles with knives, sledgehammers and baseball bats, the firm caused huge controversy on and there were calls for it to be banned.
I.D (1995) Philip Davis
Policeman John (Reece Dinsdale) is assigned with his superior, Trevor (Richard Graham), to a secret four-man squad set up to bust the infamous 'Dogs' gang. The Dogs seem to be responsible for nearly half of South London's violent crime, as well as crowd trouble at Shadwell Town football club. However, John gives Trevor cause for concern as his darker side is gradually unleashed, drawn in by the buzz of football hooliganism.
The Football Factory (2004) Nick Love
The Football Factory is more than just a study of the English obsession with football violence, its about men looking for armies to join, wars to fight and places to belong. A forgotten culture of Anglo Saxon males fed up with being told they're not good enough and using their fists as a drug they describe as being more potent than sex and drugs put together. Shot in documentary style with the energy and vibrancy of handheld, The Football Factory is frighteningly real yet full of painful humour as the four characters extreme thoughts and actions unfold before us.
Britflicks talks with Tony Denham who played Harris
Rise Of The Footsoldier (2007) Julian Gilbey
Rise of the Footsoldier follows the inexorable rise of Carlton Leach from one of the most feared generals of the football terraces to becoming a member of a notorious gang of criminals who rampaged their way through London and Essex in the late eighties and early nineties.
It is three decades of his life following him from football hooliganism, through to his burgeoning career as a bouncer, his involvement in the criminal aspects of the early ‘rave’ scene and subsequently to his rise to power as one of the most feared and respected criminals in the country.
The story concludes with three members of his firm being brutally murdered in the infamous shot-gun slaying at Rettenden, commonly known as the Essex Boys Range Rover murders.
Cass (2008) Jon S. Baird
This is a story of one formidable individual, and of modern Britain in the making. Cass Pennant was an orphaned Jamaican baby, brought up by an elderly English couple in an all-white south London suburb.
In the intolerant days before multiculturalism, the young Cass was subject to the racist bullying of the times. We see the young man find his identity among the hooligan tribes of east London, and then self-expression in violence.
CASS takes us through the rough-and-ready badlands of seventies and eighties London, from street to terrace to nightclub. As Cass Pennant finds status as a street legend, his reputation as a fearless fighter and peerless security man brings him into conflict with an emerging weapons culture. Foreshadowing our violent times, he narrowly survives shooting at point-blank range. The ultimate question remains: Revenge or reform? Vendetta, or personal growth? This is a story of its times. This is a legend of the streets. This is CASS
Awaydays (2009) Pat Holden
Awaydays is is set in the post-punk era in the North West of England. Paul Carty (Nicky Bell) is 19, good-looking, funny, clever - and bored out of his mind. His mother died a year ago. He lives in middle class suburbia with his silently grieving father and feisty young sister, Molly. Carty works as a junior civil servant and spends all his wages on gigs, clubs, records and football. It's at a match that he meets Elvis (Liam Boyle).
Elvis changes everything. He's part of a gang called The Pack. The Pack is legendary; they dress in a cultish, almost effeminate style that's at odds with the Boneheads and Bootboys they fight against. They have androgynous wedge haircuts worn with Lacoste tennis shirts, Lois jeans and Adidas Forest Hills training shoes. For as long as he has been going to football, Carty has been fascinated by The Pack. Now Elvis is offering him a way in...
The Firm (2009) Nick Love
Loosely adapted from Alan Clarke’s 1989 classic film, Nick Love’s film is set earlier in the 80’s and retells a similar story to the original – but from a different character’s point of view.
The film centers on Dom, a young wannabe football casual, who get drawn into the charismatic but dangerous world of the firm’s top boy, Bex. Accepted for the fast mouth and sense of humour, Dom soon becomes one of the boys. But as Bex and his gang clash with rival firms across the country and the violence spirals out of control, Dom realises he wants out – until he learns it’s not that easy to simply walk away.
Humorous, heart-warming and set to a killer jazz funk 80’s soundtrack, THE FIRM is a classic coming-of-age story set amongst one of England’s most revered tribes.
The Rise & Fall of a White Collar Hooligan (2012) Paul Tanter
The Rise & Fall of a White Collar Hooligan is the story of a casual football hooligan who becomes involved in the world of credit card fraud and finds himself seduced by the lifestyle and facing the dangers that his new career brings. It stars Nick Nevern, Simon Phillips, Rita Ramnani, Roland Manookian, Billy Murray and Ricci Harnett.
Green Street Hooligans (2005) Lexi Alexander
American student Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) heads to London after he is unfairly expelled from Harvard. Befriended by the charming but dangerous Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam), Matt enters the violent world of football hooliganism and the secrecy and intrigue of the football firm.
Pete Dunham and his close knit group of friends make up the Green Street Elite (GSE), a hard core group of West Ham United supporters and one of the toughest London football firms. They have one aim - to be the most feared and respected mob in the country - no matter what it takes.
Matt is not only drawn into the sheer excitement of the game of football itself, but also to the brotherhood and loyalty of life inside the GSE. But soon his dangerous new life will put at risk everything he holds dear.
Top Dog (2014) Martin Kemp
Based on the acclaimed novel by writer Dougie Brimson (Green Street) 'Top Dog' tells the story of Hooligan Firm leader, Billy Evans (Leo Gregory), who is above the law. He knows it, and they know it. And when you regard the law as an irrelevance, all kinds of opportunities can open up for you -- especially when you begin to exert your increasingly powerful influence over the back street pubs and clubs of east London. But Billy Evans is about to discover that this time he's finally pushed his luck too far. And this time it isn't the law he'll have to contend with. It's something far more dangerous.
Top Dog tells the story of how Billy's life takes a brutal turn for the worse when he bites off more than he can chew with underworld figure Mickey (Ricci Harnett) over a family member's pub he wants to reclaim as the home of his football firm, the Acton Casuals.