Total Film - 06/01/2006 4 stars out 5 -- "[T]his absorbing doc charts the swift rise and fall of a club....The filmmakers make intelligent use of lively interviews..."
Sight and Sound - 06/01/2006
"[E]njoyable....ONCE IN A LIFETIME genuinely captures the game's eternal thrill."
New York Times - 07/07/2006
"Giddy, gossipy and endearingly unslick....[The film] chronicles the rise and fall of the most famous soccer team in the United States with slapdash glee."
Box Office - 09/01/2006 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n intriguing drama that directors Paul Crowder and John Dower are able to reconstruct through the candid and sometimes contradictory recollections of nearly every key figure involved."
Uncut - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 4 -- "Pele, Cruyff and Beckenbauer...they're all featured in this documentary about the rise and fall of the New York Cosmos."
Ultimate DVD - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "Told with humour and nostalgia, this is an interesting insight into an almost forgotten time in American sporting history."
In the 1970s, a group of high-profile businessmen, led by Warner Bros. head Steve Ross and Atlantic Records gurus Ahmet and Nehui Ertegun, decided to bring the world's most popular international sport, soccer, to the United States in a big way. So they gathered their resources, called in favors, and bought the New York Cosmos, part of a fledgling, somewhat pathetic new league. Within a few years they had collected many of the game's greatest, creating a nearly unstoppable team of players that were as successful on the field as they were in the gossip pages and such clubs as Studio 54--until their egos got in the way. Paul Crowder and John Dower tell this fascinating story of greed, power, and fame in the entertaining documentary ONCE IN A LIFETIME: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE NEW YORK COSMOS. Crowder and Dower mix in terrific archival footage of the Cosmos with 1970s-era Manhattan and new interviews with many of the primary characters, including Cosmos stars Giorgio Chinaglia (cast as the villain), Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, Shep Messing (who talks about posing naked for a women's magazine), soccer lover Henry Kissinger, broadcasters Marv Albert and Paul Gardner, Cosmos rival Rodney Marsh, journalist David Hirshey, and many others. Interestingly, Pelé, the man whose multimillion-dollar signing started it all, declined to participate in the project, although he's well represented in the movie. From the patchy field at Randalls Island to packed houses at Giants stadium, ONCE IN A LIFETIME, narrated by Matt Dillon, details the rise and fall of the mighty Cosmos, set to a great 1970s soundtrack that includes songs from Kool and the Gang, Steely Dan, Junior Walker, Donna Summer, the Commodores, and the Main Ingredient, helping make the film a fab document of a crazy time.
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