ArseWEB - Arsenal at the Movies
This is one of those pages which started life in humble fashion,
simply reproducing the cast list for "The Arsenal Stadium Mystery".
Thanks to submissions from literally 10s of Arsenal fans, it
is now the biggest collection of Arsenal references from
variuous media anywhere in the world (probably).
Entries are categorised as follows...
The list starts with a couple of films which are actually
about the Arsenal.
Following these there's a list of
other films, with less central Arsenal
1939 GB (Ealing) 85minutes B/W
Footballer Jack Dyce is poisoned during a charity match at Highbury Stadium, leading to "a brisk little
mystery" starring Leslie Banks as inspector Slade of Scotland Yard. Suspects include
Dyce's former mistress and a couple of team-mates.
Arsenal manager George Allison makes a brief cameo appearance.
The film also uses real action footage from a match at Highbury.
The cast includes...
Inspector Slade............ Leslie Banks
Gwen Lee................... Greta Gynt
Sergeant Clinton........... Ian Maclean
Raille..................... Esmond Knight
Inga....................... Liane Linden
The film was written by Theorold Dickinson & Donald Bull, from the novel by Leonard Gribble, and
was also directed by Theorold Dickinson.
" This picture is as good to watch as either of the Thin Man films, and Dickinson
gives us wit instead of facetiousness - wit of cunning and wit of angle. " [Graham Greene]
See also the quotes page for a couple of George Allison gems.
1997 GB (Channel4/Wildgaze Films) ??minutes COL
The film of the classic Nick Hornby book, this stars Colin Firth
as Hornby and Ruth Gemmell as his wife, with Neil Pearson playing
There's a Fever
Pitch website. The film opens on April 4th. Please feel free
to send your reviews to ArseWeb.
- Glossary of terms used in the film (particularly handy for people
not familiar with the language of football, Arsenal, and London).
Chris Parry has written a review, read
it on his web site.
- IMDB entry
Other films with peripheral Arsenal mentions/appearances of some kind
Film about sperm smuggling in Bognor, co-written by Arsenal fan Nick Moran,
and featuring the acting debuts of Dave Seaman and Ray Parlour. See
This film starring Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) about cool
hackers averting a Bond-style eco-terrorist conspiracy thing, also features
a guy in an Arsenal shirt.
It's the bloke who's shagging top hacker babe Angelina Jolie "Acid Burn" in the corner of the
room at one point, only to be interrupted when some important computer-stuff
needs to be done. He soon gets ditched for Jonny Lee "Crash Override", and in his few words
makes it clear that he (alone in this film) isn't into computers. In the
perverse world created by director Iain Softley, not being
a computer-geek makes him the uncool one, despite the fact
that he's wearing a
Seaman-style keepers top (the one with the big black 5-pointed star).
See eg here.
To help explain a dance move to the others, one of the characters
describes it as being like when the Arsenal back four all step up
and claim offside. I think this picture shows the moment.
There are various Full Monty sites, this is the Fox one,
is a Sheffield-based one.
Based on the book by Bernard MacLaverty (who also wrote "Cal"), the film features
Liam Neeson as an Irish Priest who runs away to London with a young
epileptic boy who he tries to give the "childhood he never had". This
includes taking him to see the Arsenal, and they go and stand on the
North Bank to watch us play (possibly) Man City. The lad says "Look, there's
David O'Leary", and he has a seizure while at th ematch.
This incident is referred to in this review. See also
Starring Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller, this is a story
of 18th Century London highwaymen.
The 2 sidekicks to Lord Dorchester (Alan Cumming) are called
Dixon and Winterburn! Not having seen it, I can't comment on how
appropriate the names are.
The official site needs Shockwave to work.
Gay teen romance flick from Channel 4 (based on the play). One of the
main protagonists, Ste (Scott Neal) is obviously an Arsenal fan. Gunners
shirts and bedding feature prominenty.
see Beautiful thing website.
Apparently there's a scene where they're in a bar (probably Welch's Lounge,
the bar owned by the character John in the film) and the Arsenal crest from
the 30s or 40s is on the wall. If anyone has it on tape and can confirm
please do! See The Deerhunter site.
Frenzy (Hitchcock 1972)
In the pub where hero Richard Blaney worked (before he got the sack),
one can see in the background a large stained glass window featuring
both trophies won the year before, underneath the word "ARSENAL".
Anyone know what Pub it is?
Sabotage (Hitchcock, 1936)
An early use of the Gunners from Hitchcock. Colin Burns writes...
one scene the gang of saboteurs are discussing a plot to plant a bomb in London. The main gang leader realises
that someone is listening in to the plot and tries to disguise the conversation with a diversion that goes something like:
Gang member : "....I don't follow" (the plot)
Gang leader : "No, you don't follow the Arsenal do you? You should,
they are a jolly good bet"
Fine sentiments, especially in the mid thirties. Anyone know the character
and/or actors' names?
US gangster flick with Harvey Keitel. Someone goes to watch a match at
Highbury and there's real match footage at one point (Merse and
Wrighty, we think).
Featuring Reece Dinsdale, Sean Pertwee, Warren Clarke.
Harry Crawford writes...
"An undercover cop is sent in to investigate the violent, drug
dealing goings on at Chadwell Town (fictional club for the film - if you've
seen it you'll know why no club would put their name to it), decides he
rather likes being a hooligan and ends up as some drugged up nutter. During
the film he engages in "choice" conversation with a guy wearing an
Arsenal shirt in a pub and Arsenal are also mentioned as being drawn
against Pompey in an FA Cup draw they are listening to on the radio."
Eagle-eyed Anthony writes.....
In one of the scenes in Hugh's flat, when Julia goes to his place to clean up after he spilled something on her, there is a book about Arsenal on the shelf near a refrigerator. Something like The Glory Years of Arsenal."
Danni tells us that in this Italian film, also starring Harvey Keitel,
hsi co-star Johnny Lydon carries an Arsenal bag. We bet it's his own!
(see Celeb Gooners page).
Girl version of that film where the kids make a computer animation of
their ideal woman come to life.
Alex informs us that "Arsenal related word and jersey apear several times".
Award-winning Australian film. Chris Hatzis writes, "Josie Alibrandi's cousin Roberto is wearing the yellow away kit in the barbecue scene at the end of the movie".
Sean Bean's wet dream of a film (about Sean Bean becoming a
Sheffield United star). United play Arsenal (with Mr Bean on the
The guys discuss people who had 'it' and then lost 'it'. People
mentioned include Charlie Nicholas (along with David Bowie and
Nigel Odell writes...
"The Australian feature film Muggers (2000), produced by
Clock End Films (see ImDB) features an extra at the start wearing an Arsenal scarf (I know
this as I produced the movie and am also the extra in question), furthermore Arsenal FC are
thanked in the closing credits, primarily for winning the Double in 98, the year we shot the
movie, which kept me going during very tough times Down Under but also for being an abiding
"Unfortunately the movie is not yet available in the UK though I am hopeful of persuading
Winchester Films in London, who own the rights, to release it soon on both video and DVD.
If Arseweb want to encourage website readers to lobby Winchester they can do so through the
official Muggers website at www.muggers.com.au."
In a scene where the main two characters are in a
music shop, the song playing
in the background is 'Tony Adams' by Joe Strummer.
See also music section below,
and celebrity Gooners page
for more on Joe Strummer and his Big Tone obsession.
Jason Williams writes...
"There is a scene in this film about life on the home front in England during WWII, when one of the boys goes to war and his dad or
mate shouts 'UP THE GUNNERS'"
Partner-swapping thiry-somethings in Camden. A
ginger-haired Scottish guy gives Cathy Burke a Celtic tatto when she's
drunk. She complains the next morning, saying that she is an Arsenal Fan.
The Good The Bad and The Ugly
More a derogatory Spurs reference than an Arsenal one....
Dave Potter writes, "Clint shoots a bloke
who tries to sneak up on him. As the bloke is dying he looks at
Clint who replies 'You're spurs'".
Nice one, Dave.
And some Arsenal TV moments...
Across the Andes by Frog, 1977
In this episode of Michael Palin and Terry Jones's Ripping Yarns
(inspired by material from their 1974 book "Dr Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and
Girls", republished in 1984 as "Dr Fegg's Encyclopedia of All World Knowledge"),
the group of explorers enters a small village high in the mountains where
some locals in the background are listening to a radio broadcast of an
Arsenal FA Cup final. We're not sure which one but Arsenal were losing.
See Ripping Yarns episode guide or this page (the picture is from the episode in question,
as you can probably tell!).
Day of the Triffids
Chris Hatzis writes: "Many years ago I saw a film called 'Day Of
The Triffods' which had some Arsenal fans walking down the street
singing. For some reason they were blind. You'll have to watch the film.".
Well, I know why they were blind, it's because they'd witnessed the meteor
shower which brought the Triffids to Earth and made everyone go blind.
What we don't know is which film it was, I think there have been more than
one, and a TV series...? Anyone know?
Rob Meyers informs us that it was indeed the BBC TV series from
the early 80s, starring John Duttine. Makes sense. After all, the
movie was Americanised so no football fans in that one! Howard Keel
played the John Duttine character.
Morecambe and Wise
If anyone has or can make a WAV file of the late great Eric Morecambe
doing his "cough!... Arsenal" thing, we would be extremely
Jamie Hunt remembers another reference: an episode from their inferior TV
days when Roy Castle was a guest on the show.... Sitting in their flat,
Eric was flicking through the Guinness Book Of Records...
Eric : There's a Des O'Connor cheque here for 47p!
Eric : The World's Longest Yawner...who didn't stop yawning until
Arsenal played their last match of the Season!
In the Aussie soap a few years back (possibly the 93-94 season) a
couple of characters (Rick and Debbie) were on holiday in London
to see a Michael Jackson concert, when they came across a young Arsenal
fan (with a scarf to prove it) who happened to be the son of the
Arsenal groundsman. He took them inside the stadium to see
the pitch, and Jason Edwards recalls him trying to steal Debbie's
camera (or bag).
Apparently the scenes are in one of the end-of-season videos.
The Yob (1988)
One of the best and darkest Comic Strip features. This had
Keith Allen (serial England World Cup anthem writer)
in the title role, as an Arsenal "missing link" type fan who gets
crossed with an "arty farty ponce" (...says Grahame Jenkins, who
reminded us of it).
You can order The Yob from
Minder, the movie (?)
Andy Grange writes: "i seem to remeber in minder 'the movie' the story
was based around a dead villians money was hidden using the numbers
of the 71 f.a. cup goal scorers as a combination. but various parties
got it wrong because of the 'disputed' first goal!!"
Can anyone confirm, and provide more details? Or did Andy dream the
Kevin Dobson writes: "Yes Andy has it right. The Minder film does involve
the 1971 double success in particular the cup final.
The secret of the 'code' involving Arsenal is realised (worked
out!) by "Terry" standing on a railway station in the middle of
nowhere after being let off a train!"
Jeremy Spinks adds: "I'm pretty certain that the Minder film
featuring the "Arsenal code" was
called "Minder on the Orient Express". I used to have it on tape and
watched it about a dozen times. The guy who devised the code was an
Eddie Kelly fan in particular and was always annoyed that George Graham
was credited with Arsenal's first goal in the Cup Final."
Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
originally on the radio, also book and TV series
Episode 1 (just before the Vogons come and destroy the earth to make way for a by-pass)
Ford Prefect: Six pints of bitter, please. And quickly, the world's about to
Barman: Oh yes, sir? Nice weather for it. Going to watch the match this
Ford: No, no point.
Barman: What's that, forgone conclusion then you reckon? Arsenal without a
Ford: No no, it's just that the world's about to end.
Barman: Oh yes sir, so you said. Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did.
Ford looks back at him, genuinely surprised.
Ford: No, not really.
Arthur Dent: This must be Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays.
Note: Arthur Dent is obviously not a football fan. What would Arsenal be
doing playing on a Thursday afternoon?
In a sketch, Arsenal's chain smoking ball watchers (from the 40s) are are being beaten by
the unfairly fit and tactically astute Liverpool 1991 team, before in the
second half they adopt the Paul Davis tactic, and spark
any Liverpool player that comes near them.
Monty Python's Flying Circus
A barber's insane chattering includes an enquiry into
sir's opinion of Arsenal's chances for the cup that year.
(more Python below)
The Fast Show
Being a Tottenham fan, it comes as no surprise that Paul Whitehouse
would make the "yuppie fan" (played by John Thompson) support Arsenal.
Saturday Night Live
February 2001,in a skit titled "Scottish Hooligan Weekly". Starred Mike Myers
acting the part of a Scots football fan, for some reason wearing an Arsenal
S Club 7 TV series (Miami 7/LA 7)
Several spots from Eddie Spears, lending considerable weight to his
theory that band-member Bradley McIntosh is a celbrity gooner in real life. From 3 separate episodes:
- Bradley reads an Arsenal magazine with Patrick Vieira on the front.
- Bradley tells the group that someone gave him a Liverpool season ticket for Xmas, Paul asks why that's bad, and Bradley replies "I support Arsenal".
- Bradley has an Arsenal scarf on his locker.
Manu Petit had a small speaking part as himself, visiting a young
Arsenal-supporting girl in hospital. Around Xmas 1999 we think.
Dave Seaman celebrated Millennium Eve on the Close (as himself).
BBC play about Euro96, shown during France98. Featured David Seaman (and
Peter Shilton) as himself (and Peter Shilton).
Monty Python's Flying Circus, episode 24
TV Presenter (Michael Palin): ...and in London I have with me Mr Ludovic Grayson, the man who
scored all six goals in Arsenal's 1-0 victory over the Turkish Champions FC
(pull out to reveal that he is talking to a five-foot-high filing cabinet)
Presenter: Ludovic, first of all, congratulations on the victory.
Mr Grayson (Terry Jones): (from inside filing cabinet) Thank you, David.
Presenter: It should send you back to Botty with a big lead.
Mr Grayson: Oh yes, well we're fairly confident, David.
Presenter: Well at the moment, Ludovic, you're crouching down inside a
Mr Grayson: Yes that's right, David, I'm trying not to be seen.
Presenter: I see. Is this through fear?
Mr Grayson: Oh no, no, it's common sense really. If they can't see you, they
can't get you.
Presenter: Ha, ha, ha, but of course they can still hear you. (the filing
cabinet explodes) Ludovic Grayson, thank you very much for coming on the
for full episode script.
There's another Arsenal reference in the credits to episode 42 (bottom of the page).
David Willcocks writes:
"a snotty british officer is in the mash camp..and is very happy after hearing the
news that Arsenal had beaten Manchester United".
Anyone remember any more about the episode?
Pavlos Alexandrakis does...
"I don't remember it exactly but, a snooty British officer
(played by the actor who was Dr. Bombay on Bewitched and then the
idiot British colonel on
Hogan's Heroes if that means anything to you) [Bernard Fox?] is visiting his men in the MASH unit and
encouraging them to read out their letters from home...one of the wounded says "Arsenal beat
Man United...we'll win the League (or Cup?) this year" or something of that sort...best MASH
episode of all time."
On The Buses
Tony Spence reckons he remembers Bob McNab making a guest appearance,
but he was only 7 then so can't be sure. Anyone else...?
Theo Michael writes, "Tony Spence is right, Bob McNab was in an episode of 'On The Buses'. I think they
were organising a footy match against another depot, or something, and they got Bob in as a
Ringer. I remember Reg being all pleased with himself and saying that 'Bob McNab was a team
on his own' (or words to that effect) as they watched him doing Up-sies in the garage."
"Bob got injured before the match and so never got to play in it. Also, his
acting was terrible. He seemed to have a permanent grin on his face (even when rolling around in
agony). Pity Ginola wasn't around then to give him some tips!"
was an episode which went out in March 1973, simply called 'The Football Match'. Don't think
you need to be a rocket scientist (or Arsene Wenger) to work out that that was the episode
in which our left-back appeared."
Luis Boa Morte appeared, dishing out prtizes on sports day. Anyone
remember when, or anything else about it?
Men behaving badly
In the episode where Gary and Debs get trapped in a lift,
ARSENAL is spray painted on the wall.
Maggie and Her
A comedy from 1979 starring Julia MacKenzie and Irene
Handl. In one episode the two characters are knocking back the wine:
Julia's character : Bottoms Up!
Irene's character : Arsenal for the Cup!
Jamie Hunt (who's the one that remembered it) writes "Made me laugh when
I was young!"
Bob Wilson - Anchorman (by HMHB)
Chris Green writes...
"The superb Manc band Half Man Half Biscuit, on their recent 'Editor's
Recommendation' EP, had a song called 'Bob Wilson - Anchorman'. If you
haven't heard it, it's superb. It basically goes on about a load of
extraordinary things that Nigel the singer has seen in his life (of course
I'll be buggered if I can remember any of them now), but, he says, he has...
'never met the one who had the bright idea...Bob Wilson - anchorman'.
I mean, he's got a point.
There's a semi-explanation
Tony Adams (by Joe Strummer)
Tribute to the Arsenal and England legend, from the Clash frontman's
1999 solo LP. See newsreel items from
and Joe Strummer's entry on the Celebrity
Gooners page (including Chelsea fan Strummer's thoughts on Tone).
Dial Square (by Midway Still)
Debut album by grunge pioneers who were all Arsenal fans.
See Celebs page.
Some album by Iron Maiden..?
Apparently on the back of one of their album sleeves,
they pretend that West Ham thrashed Arsenal 7-3. Anyone know
Emir Flilpovic writes to confirm. On the back of their 1986
album "Somewhere In Time" it says "West Ham 7 Arsenal 3". Emir says
that the album has a futuristic theme, and rather than suggesting
that the Irons could have beaten us by that score in the past,
they might be imaginging some kind of bizarre nightmare (and
highly unlikely) future in which such an event were possible.
This confirmed by looking at the picture itself. The score appears as a result
on a scrolling sign in a (slightly) futuristic cityscape.
Your Arsenal (by Morrissey)
Adam Abbate writes, "I've heard repeated claims over the years that the album is named for the team. At least that was the
explanation given for the title when the album came out here in the US. It's how I first heard of the
team, in fact. Been a fan ever since."
If you spot an Arsenal reference suitable for this page, please
let us know.
Thanks to Alistair, Eddie, Jeff, Colin, David G, Andy, Gareth, Geoff, Megan, Aileen, Lars, Jean-Francois, Tom, Gary, Ken, Andy, Chris, Grahame, Andy, Eli, & Rob, as well as all those mentioned in specific entries, for having done so.
If you like this page, you'll probably enjoy browsing
the Celebrity Gooners page too.