Bo66y review: An exceptional documentary charting the life and career of one of England’s greatest, Bobby Moore.

bo66y review
Bo66y review

Bo66y review by Paul Heath, May 2016.

We all remember the glorious year of 1966 when England last lifted the football world cup in that iconic 1966 red shirt, and while most of us reading this won’t have been around at that time, we all know of the legendary Bobby Moore, the man who led the country on that historic afternoon. My fingers wanted to put a ‘sir’ before his name when typing that last sentence, but its difficult to believe that the England hero was never knighted prior to his death in 1993, a fact that this documentary highlights, but also underlines and questions repeatedly, as well as focussing on Moore’s more well known glory days both at West Ham and leading out the squad at Wembley nearly fifty years ago.

Ron Scalpel‘s talking head feature documentary, his first foray into the genre following an impressing turn with the drama Pressure last year, tracks the professional life of arguably England’s greatest, from the world cup in 1962, all of the way through to his untimely death in 1993. Using stock footage, many of Moore’s former team-mates, peers and current players that still look up to him, Scalpel’s film engrosses from the off.

Bo66y review
Bo66y review

Before viewing the film earlier today, I thought to myself that I didn’t know too much of the man off the field, particularly of the days since he retired from the game, and with good reason, which the documentary ironically reveals during its latter third. Moore was spurned by various bodies within the sport, from the F.A., something that is admitted quite honestly by current chairmen Greg Dyke in the closing interviews of this feature, his beloved West Ham, and many other top flight teams, and was forced abroad and to the smaller non-league clubs to pursue a career in the game in the years after his playing days – something not quite befitting a living legend and global ambassador of the beautiful game.

While the documentary does show the darker, more isolated years in the latter years of Moore’s life, the overriding theme is the hospitable and generous nature of the man, a tale of a local boy done good; a hero to millions. Scalpel and his filmmaking team have secured interviews with global icons like Pele, Frank Lampard Snr (and Jnr), Wayne Rooney, Sir Geoff Hurst and Harry Redknapp, to the likes of West Ham fans Russell Brand and Ray Winstone, as well as Moore’s surviving family members, first wife Tina Moore, daughter Roberta, and second wife Stephanie Moore, a huge player in restoring the memory of the former England captain in the time since his premature death. The documentary also features some very intimate, previously unseen footage of Moore and his family, superbly stitched into some superbly edited sequences from the memorable games that Bobby took part in and led, including the one at Wembley on that fateful day in the summer of 1966.

Bo66y review
Bo66y review

Bo66y is not only a perfectly constructed, honest, highly entertaining, and deeply moving film (we wept on more than one occasion), but a well-timed, chest-thumping start to a summer that will once again be dominated by international football, and one that many will be hoping to see the three lions roar once again. Like the man mentioned in the title itself, Bo66y is inspiring, patriotic stuff, and perhaps one of the greatest football documentaries on English football ever made. It’s an absolute must for fans of the sport or those, like me, with just the smallest interest in our national sport.

Like the legend it features, a wonder to watch.

Bo66y review by Paul Heath, May 2016.

Bo66y will preview in selected UK cinemas from May 27th, 2016, and will then be released on UK DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download from May 30th, 2016.

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