Movies Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001, Ricky Tomlinson, Amanda Redman) Published 6 months ago on November 16, 2018 Sven and the FA’s tabloid firestorm gives this low-budget charmer a chance to return from the benches and confirm the unique talent of Ricky Tomlinson. After their manager dies halfway through the World Cup qualifiers, England’s football team seek an emergency replacement. The obvious candidates turn down the role, so Norwich boss Mike Bassett (Ricky Tomlinson) is appointed. The press are quick to savage the newcomer, who responds by recalling a disgraced striker and refusing to play an attacking strategy. Defeat against Poland fuels the critics, so Bassett orders the team to intensive training at a hi-tech sports clinic. But instead of a miracle cure, the squad are crippled by injury, and look set to extend 30 years of hurt… But getting to the finals via a loophole in the rules, there’s one last chance to prove themselves… With the real England team providing enough material for ten comedies, director Steve Barron did not need to dig deep. Some wonderful moments are lifted from Graham Taylor and Glenn Hoddle’s time in charge, while old wounds such as Maradona’s handball are repaid in full. The ‘luxury player’ (chosen because of sporadic genius) is Gazza in all but name, while captain Gary ‘Wacko’ Wackett is clearly Stuart Pearce. Such tributes will please fans, but the real joy – and one which takes the film beyond just England fans – is to be found in the performance of Tomlinson. Repeating the no-nonsense Bobby Grant/ Jim Royle approach, the actor is perfectly cast, able to indulge both his comic timing and talent for drama. production details UK | 89 minutes | 2001 Director: Steve Barron Script: John R. Smith Rob Sprackling cast Ricky Tomlinson as Mike Bassett Amanda Redman as Karine Bassett Philip Jackson as Lonnie Urquart Bradley Walsh as Dave Dodds Martin Bashir as Interviewer Phill Jupitus as Tommo Thompson Dean Lennox Kelly as Kevin Tonkinson Robbie Gee as Smallsy Geoff Bell as Gary Wackett Pelé as Himself Ulrich Thomsen as Dr. Hans Shoegaarten Geoffrey Hutchings as Geoffrey Lightfoot Angela Curran as Margaret Danny Tennant as Jason Bassett Sean Gilder as Journalist Mark Burdis as Journalist Nigel Lindsay as Journalist Sue Barker as Herself Gabby Logan as Herself Keith Allen as Himself Natasha Kaplinsky as Herself Dickie Bird as Himself Robert Putt as Jack Marshall John Alford as Deano Dean Holness as Danny Scott Mean as Parksey Terry Kiely as Harpsey Peter McGillycuddy as Gorgeous Toby Redwood as Berksey Thomas Kenyon as Macca Andy Ansah as Super Robert Campion as Smudger Alex Lawler as Sexy Dion Osborne as Ossie Danny Husbands as Normal Declan Perkins as Perky Phil Gridelet as Grids Jenny Frost as Herself Liz McClarnon as Herself Malcolm Terris as Phil Cope Ian Lindsay as Manchester Rep Lloyd McGuire as Midlands Rep Chris McQuarry as Alan Massey Stephen Walters as Supporter Barry Venison as Himself Ronaldo as Himself Kim Durham as Benson Robert Hudson as Hedges Des Hamilton as Scottish Player Paul Rattray as Scottish Player Neil Peplow as Scottish Goalie Glen Mulhern as Irish Player Amanda RedmanBradley WalshComedyDean Lennox KellyGeoff BellGeoffrey HutchingsJohn R. 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