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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...
Arsenal in Films Arsenal on Telly (& Radio) Arsenal in Music


Films

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 mentions.

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery

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.

Fever Pitch

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 Hornby's father.

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

The Baby Juice Express, 2001

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 Newsreel report.

Hackers, 1995

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.

"The Full Monty, 1997

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, and this is a Sheffield-based one.

Lamb, 1985

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 movie database entry.

Plunkett & Macleane, 1999

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.

Beautiful Thing, 1996

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.

The Deerhunter, 1978

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". See review.
Anyone know what Pub it is?

Sabotage (Hitchcock, 1936)

An early use of the Gunners from Hitchcock. Colin Burns writes...

In 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?

The Young Americans, 1993

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).

I.D, 1995

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."

Notting Hill, 1998

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."

Copkiller, 1983

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).

Virtual Sexuality, 1999

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".

Looking For Alibrandi, 2000

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".

When Saturday Comes. 1996

Sean Bean's wet dream of a film (about Sean Bean becoming a Sheffield United star). United play Arsenal (with Mr Bean on the bench).

Trainspotting

The guys discuss people who had 'it' and then lost 'it'. People mentioned include Charlie Nicholas (along with David Bowie and Lou Reed).

Muggers, 2000

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 inspiration."

"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."

Coyote Ugly, 2000

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.

Hope & Glory, John Boorman 1987

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'"

This Year's Love, 1999

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 famous 1962 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 grateful!

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!
(Laughter)
Eric : The World's Longest Yawner...who didn't stop yawning until Arsenal played their last match of the Season!

Neighbours

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 BlackStar

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 whole thing?
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 end.
Barman: Oh yes, sir? Nice weather for it. Going to watch the match this afternoon then?
Ford: No, no point.
Barman: What's that, forgone conclusion then you reckon? Arsenal without a chance?
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?

Harry Enfield

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 scarf...

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.

The Bill

Manu Petit had a small speaking part as himself, visiting a young Arsenal-supporting girl in hospital. Around Xmas 1999 we think.

Brookie

Dave Seaman celebrated Millennium Eve on the Close (as himself).

My Summer with Des, 1998

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 Botty.

(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 filing cabinet.

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 program tonight.

See here for full episode script.

There's another Arsenal reference in the credits to episode 42 (bottom of the page).

M*A*S*H

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!"

"There 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."

Grange Hill

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!"

Musical references

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 here"

Tony Adams (by Joe Strummer)

Tribute to the Arsenal and England legend, from the Clash frontman's 1999 solo LP. See newsreel items from 23/7/99, 13/10/99, 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 it?

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.

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