Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Marv Albert as Himself
Carlos Alberto as Himself
Franz Beckenbauer as Himself
Giorgio Chinaglia as Himself
Johan Cruyff as Himself
Matt Dillon as Narrator
Ahmet Ertegun as Himself
Mia Hamm as Herself
Steve Hunt as Himself
Mario Mariani as Himself
Rodney Marsh as Himself
Shep Messing as Himself
Pelé as Himself
Steve Ross as Himself
Werner Roth as Himself
Bobby Smith as Himself
Clive Toye as Himself
Dennis Tueart as Himself

Special Features:
Game Highlights: 1980 Soccer Bowl: Cosmos vs. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers; 1981 Soccer Bowl: Cosmos vs. Chicago Sting; Pelé’s Farewell Game

Deleted Scene

“Stories Of Pelé” — SportsCentury Interviews

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
French Language
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 97 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Glory, glamour, debauchery, controversy. It’s all here in ‘Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.’ This untold tale of America’s first great soccer team and its larger-than-life superstar reveals how a scrappy team of ragtag athletes rose from total anonymity to stratospheric celebrity only to flame out in a New York minute. From the makers of the award-winning ‘One Day in September’ and ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys,’ this hugely entertaining and humorous film has everything — heroes and villains, egos and excess, wild partying and exciting sports action. Adding to all the drama are candid — and often juicy — interviews with former players, coaches, newsmakers, and journalists. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime story you just can’t miss.”

“Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos” is rated PG-13 for language and some nudity.

Mini-Review:
If you’re a soccer fan, then this documentary is really going to be something you’ll want to check out. It details the rise and fall of professional soccer in the United States. It focuses a lot on the business side of things, but seeing as how that’s the nature of professional sports, that’s OK. The Cosmos endeavor was an equal mix of business savvy, showmanship, and genuine love of the game. The film is an excellent mix of modern interviews, vintage footage, and more. It also has a real 70′s feel with music, graphics, and fashions from the era. It really sets the mood for the story. All together it’s everything you would hope a documentary to be except for the fact that Pele didn’t take part in it.

That being said, I found myself quite often bored by it. I have very little interest in soccer, so I had a hard time being engaged by it. The business and hype surrounding the Cosmos is interesting, but it wasn’t enough. There were other things I would rather have viewed. Still, I could see how soccer fans would be really intrigued by it.

The bonus features are light on the DVD, but what is here should make fans happy. There’s a lone deleted scene where the Cosmos businessmen talked about putting together a fake Haitian team to play in a tournament after the real team jumped immigration. There’s also a featurette where Pele’s former teammates talk about what it was like playing and socializing with him. They make him sound like a demigod of sorts. Finally, there’s a collection of highlights from some of their more notable games including Pele’s final game with the Cosmos.

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