Those Glory Glory Days (1983) starring Zoë Nathenson, Sara Sugarman, Cathy Murphy, Liz Campion, Amelia Dipple, Elizabeth Spriggs, Julia McKenzie, Peter Tilbury, Julia Goodman directed by Philip Saville Movie Review

Those Glory Glory Days (1983)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Sara Sugarman and Zoë Nathenson in Those Glory Glory Days

Julia Earns her Spurs

Made for TV and released in 1983 "Those Glory Glory Days" feels like a forerunner to "Fever Pitch" in fact they are quite similar movies. Both focus on youthful passion for football and in the case of "Those Glory Glory Days" it is young Julia's love of Tottenham Hotspurs. Both focus on reminiscing to an important season with "Those Glory Glory Days" focusing on the 1960-61 season when Spurs became the first British team of the 20th century to do the double. But the problem which "Those Glory Glory Days" has is that it is really just one story the reminiscing to 1960-61 and lacks a strong second storyline to make it more entertaining.

After the humiliating ordeal of being the only female reporter amongst the sexist male reporters at a Tottenham Hotspur game Julia finds herself being given a lift back to Fleet street by her footballing idol. Reminiscing she tells him all about the 1960-61 season when not only did Spurs do the double but she and her friends desperately and passionately followed them.

Liz Campion, Cathy Murphy, Zoë Nathenson and Sara Sugarman in Those Glory Glory Days

"Those Glory Glory Days" starts in a brilliant fashion as we watch a grown up female reporter in the stands with all the other reporters and subject to sexist attitudes as no one takes her seriously as a reporter, condescending in their attitude towards her. It is both painful and funny to witness how male reporters once behaved and it leads in nicely to Julia ending up being given a lift by her footballing idol which leads to her reminiscing to the 1960-61 season. The shame of this is that if they had interweaved more of the now in with the reminiscing it would have been a bit more entertaining but instead we get taken back to the start of the 60s and that is where we remain until right at the end when we learn the identity of the footballing idol giving her a lift.

What this means is that "Those Glory Glory Days" becomes all about how much Tottenham Hotspurs meant to Julia and her 3 girl friends back in the early 60s. We watch as they vow to always support the team, collect mementoes from close encounters with their idols, listen to the cup draws on the radio during lesson and basically think, eat and sleep Spurs. The main part of this is their determination to go to the FA Cup final and the desperate endeavour to get tickets, an endeavour which sees Julia spend the night hiding inside Tottenham Football club. It is entertaining and being fanatical girl supporters has a different angle to being typical male supporters with them being in love with certain players.

But there is a problem and that is the lack of a strong secondary storyline to give purpose which is what "Fever Pitch" had with its romantic storyline. We do get a secondary storyline which is Julia's parent's marital problems but it only ends up being a minor distraction. And as such there comes a time about the halfway mark that things become a little repetitive and you want something interesting to happen to liven things up.

Despite this "Those Glory Glory Days" is still entertaining thanks to the performances of the young girls especially Zoë Nathenson and Sara Sugarman who play Julia and Toni. There are some fun boyish moments between them as they deal with the disappointment of not getting the tickets when they first try. And the performances of the supporting cast which includes Cathy Murphy, Liz Campion and Julia McKenzie are just as much fun.

What this all boils down to is that "Those Glory Glory Days" is a fun, very British movie which looks at the passion of a group of girl football fans during the season of 1960-61. It has a wonderful nostalgic charm about it and mixes drama with humour nicely but it is lacking a strong secondary story to make it more than just reminiscing for Spurs fans.