SuperSport 1’s festival of the greatest sports movies of all time continues from Tuesday 28 April to Thursday 30 April with ‘Mean Machine’, ‘The Edge’ and ‘Steve McQueen – The Man and his Le Mans’.
Archetypal football bad boy Vinnie Jones is the star of ‘Mean Machine’ on Tuesday 28 April, a 2001 comedy-drama directed by Barry Skolnick. Jones plays former soccer star Danny Meehan, who has been jailed for rigging an important match and ordered by the prison governor to coach the inmates’ team for a big match against the guards.
‘Mean Machine’, which also features current action movie favourite Jason Statham, is a fun football romp with its tongue firmly in its cheek and features some ludicrously dirty on-field play from Jones – basically what he was renowned for throughout his professional football career!
Wednesday 29 April is headlined by ‘The Edge’, a 2019 documentary film which shows cricket as you’ve never seen it before. Between 2009 and 2013, the England Test cricket team rose from the depths of the rankings to become the first and only English side to reach world number one since ICC records began.
Captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower took over a team including some of the true greats of the English game and transformed them into a phenomenal winning machine before the pressure and scrutiny began to fracture mind, body and soul. ‘The Edge’ is directed by Barney Douglas and proves to be a searing look into the ruthless intensity of cricket, the impact it can have on players’ mental health and the extreme price of success.
DStv viewers can round out the month of April on Thursday the 30th with the documentary ‘Steve McQueen – The Man and his Le Mans’. This 2015 film, directed by Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna, focuses on the turbulent production of McQueen’s motor racing classic ‘Le Mans’.
At the time ‘Le Mans’ went into production McQueen was one of cinema’s biggest stars, but he would be forced to contend not only with the sudden departure of the film’s original director, John Sturgis, but his own failing marriage, the threat of bankruptcy, and the fear of learning that he had been targeted for death by one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century as well.
‘Mean Machine’, ‘The Edge’ and ‘Steve McQueen – The Man and his Le Mans’ in numbers
– 2 – ‘Steve McQueen – The Man and his Le Mans’ was one of just two British films selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.
– 9 – The number of caps Vinne Jones – star of ‘Mean Machine’ – earned in his international career with Wales.
– 50 – The age at which Steve McQueen died from heart failure in 1980.
– 99 – The running time, in minutes, of ‘Mean Machine’.
– 100% – The rating of ‘The Edge’ on film review website Rotten Tomatoes.
‘Mean Machine’, ‘The Edge’ and ‘Steve McQueen – The Man and his Le Mans’ trivia
– ‘Mean Machine’ is an adaptation of the 1974 film ‘The Longest Yard’, which starred Burt Reynolds and had American football as its sport of choice, rather than soccer.
– ‘Mean Machine’ producer Matthew Vaughn has also written and directed acclaimed comic-book films ‘X-Men: First Class’, ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ and ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’.
– ‘The Edge’ features a debut film soundtrack from musician Felix White of The Maccabees.
– Racing driver Derek Bell was nearly killed when the Ferrari 512 he was driving caught fire as he tried get into position for a take for Steve McQueen’s ‘Le Mans’.
Sports movie festival, broadcast details, 28-30 April
Tuesday 28 April
20:30: ‘Mean Machine’ – SuperSport 1
Wednesday 29 April
20:30: ‘The Edge’ – SuperSport 1
Thursday 30 April
20:30: ‘Steve McQueen – The Man and his Le Mans’ – SuperSport 1