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Green Street Hooligans Info



Green Street is a 2004 British/American independent drama film about football hooliganism inEngland. It was directed by Lexi Alexander and stars Elijah Wood and Charlie Hunnam. In the United States and Australia, the film is called Green Street Hooligans, while in the United Kingdom it has the title Green Street after initially being called Hooligans. In other countries, it is called Football Hooligans or just Hooligans. In the film, an American college student (Matt Buckner — played by Elijah Wood) falls in with a violent West Ham football firm (the Green Street Elite) run by his brother-in-law's brother and is morally transformed by their commitment to each other. The story and screenplay were developed by former hooligan turned authorDougie Brimson.
Throughout the film, the Green Street Elite fight other "firms" such as Tottenham Hotspur's Yid ArmyBirmingham City's ZulusManchester United's Red Army and Millwall's Bushwackers.
A sequel called Green Street 2: Stand Your Ground, was released straight-to-video in 2009.

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[edit]Plot

Matt Buckner is thrown off his journalism course at Harvard University after cocaine is discovered in his room. However, the cocaine belongs to Jeremy Van Holden, his roommate. Buckner is afraid to speak up because the Van Holdens are a powerful family, and Jeremy pays him $10,000 for taking the fall. Matt moves to the United Kingdom to live with his sister Shannon, her husband Steve Dunham and their young son, Ben. There, Matt meets Steve's brother, Pete, a loud and thuggish Cockney who runs a local football hooligan firm - a group of football supporters that arranges fights after matches - and teaches at a local school. Steve asks Pete to take Matt to a football match between West Ham United and Birmingham City, though Pete reluctant to take a "Yank" to a football match, because of the xenophobic nature of his friends. He is persuaded only because Steve will give Matt money. After defeating Matt in a fight, Pete decides to take him after all.
Matt meets Pete's friends and his firm in the Abbey, their local pub. His friends all make friends with Matt, with the exception of his right-hand man, Bovver. After a few pints of lager, they head to Upton Park for the match. On his way back to the underground, Matt is jumped by threeBirmingham fans, who nearly give him a 'Chelsea Grin, but is rescued by some GSE members, who are on their way to a larger fight. Though grossly outnumbered, the GSE manage to hold their ground until reinforcements chase off the Birmingham firm. Matt does well in his first true fight and is inducted into the GSE. After a row with Steve, Matt moves in with Pete, and the two exchange stories. Later heavily outnumbered by Man United fans, the inferior numbered GSE overturn odds. It is soon revealed to Matt that the GSE's sworn enemy is Millwall's firm, led by Tommy Hatcher, whom Bovver makes negotiations with after getting jealous of Matt. After one of the members of the firm see Matt meeting his father, a renowned journalist for The Times, for lunch, they assume Matt is a "Journo" as well. Bovver informs Pete about this, and, when Steve finds out, he goes to the Abbey to warn Matt. Matt finds out that Steve used to be "The Major," of the GSE. When Steve was The Major, the last game he went to was against Millwall, to which Tommy Hatcher brought along his 12-year-old son, whom Tommy had raised to be hard. The son was killed in the ensuing fight. Since then Tommy Hatcher "lost it," and blamed Steve and the GSE for his son's death. After seeing this happening, Steve left football hooliganism for good.
At that moment, Bovver arrives, and there is a big argument in the Abbey, in which Bovver comes out humiliated. Infuriated, he goes to Millwall's local and asks Tommy Hatcher to attack The Abbey. Initially reluctant, Tommy Hatcher agrees upon learning that Steve is there. The Millwall firm crash the Abbey, and petrol bomb the bar. Tommy Hatcher confronts Steve Dunham. Steve's attempt to convince Tommy Hatcher he is no longer involved in the GSE only reminds Tommy Hatcher of his son, and he stabs Steve in the neck with a broken bottle, telling him "If you die tonight, you and me are even." Bovver, who had been knocked out by Tommy Hatcher, comes round just in time to help Steve. At the hospital, Pete blasts Bovver for his betrayal. In the aftermath, the two firms meet near the Millennium Dome for an all-out brawl. Matt and Bovver show up to fight for the GSE, but during the fight, Matt's sister, Shannon, turns up with their son, and are attacked by a Milwall hooligan. Matt and Bovver come to their rescue. Pete notices that Tommy Hatcher is approaching the car, and distracts Tommy by taunting him to "finish him off." When Tommy Hatcher declares to have finished with him, Pete then declares that Tommy Hatcher was to blame for his son's death, having failed to protect him ("He was your SON!"). Tommy Hatcher, driven to insanity, attacks and kills Pete, all the while shouting out a variation of the words to the chant 'Only a poor little Hammer,' using it as an analogy for Pete's condition. The fight completely halts at this point, and Tommy Hatcher is eventually pulled off Pete by some of his friends as he breaks down in tears. Everyone on both sides gathers around Pete's dead body in shock, with Bovver sobbing at his side.
Matt returns to the United States and confronts Jeremy Van Holden in a restaurant toilet, where Jeremy is snorting cocaine. Jeremy arrogantly tells Matt to leave. Matt then pulls out a tape recorder and plays back what Jeremy just said, including their discussion about how the cocaine in Matt's room was Jeremy's, saying that it is his "ticket back to Harvard." Jeremy lunges at him to try and get the tape, but Matt casually reverses the attack and raises his fist as if to punch Jeremy. He does not do so, but instead walks out with a smile as Jeremy collapses to the floor, defeated. The film ends with Matt walking down the street outside the restaurant singing "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles."

[edit]Cast

[edit]Cultural context

The name of the firm in film, the Green Street Elite, refers to Green Street in the London Borough of Newham, where West Ham's home stadium, Boleyn Ground (more commonly known as Upton Park) is located. West Ham is supported by one of England's notorious hooligan firms: the Inter City Firm (ICF).[1] Although Green Street has received some criticism regarding the exaggerated level of violence shown between the firms in the movie, the cultural validity of the script is rooted in anthropological studies of firm behaviour.

[edit]Critical reception

The film received mixed reviews upon release with casting and character accents being amongst the main criticisms. It scored 46% on movie website Rotten Tomatoes,[2] and it scored 55% on the website Metacritic.[3] Roger Ebert gave the film a very favourable review.[4] The film has developed a cult following in recent years.

[edit]Awards

Lexi Alexander won several awards including Best Feature at the LA Femme Film Festival, Best of the Fest at the Malibu Film Festival, and the Special Jury Award at the SXSW Film Festival.

[edit]Sequel

Green Street 2: Stand Your Ground was released straight-to-DVD in March 2009.
The film does not star most of the main cast of the first film, but rather focuses on Ross McCall, who played Dave in the first film. The plot has Dave, who was caught from the fight at the end of the first film, in a prison where he must fight to survive.

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