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The Keeper tells the extraordinary love story between a young English woman and a German PoW, who together overcome prejudice, public hostility, and personal tragedy. While visiting a PoW camp near Manchester at the end of WWII, Margaret Friar, the daughter of the manager of the local football team, notices young German soldier Bert Trautmann. Her father is so taken by Bert's prowess as a goal-keeper that he gets him out of the camp to play for his local team. Margaret and Bert's love blossoms despite local hostility and resentment of the German PoWs. In the meantime, Bert's heroics in goal are noticed by Manchester's City Football Club. Rather than going back to Germany like nearly all the other camp inmates, Bert marries Margaret and signs for Man City. His signing causes outrage to thousands of Man City fans, many of them Jewish. But Margaret wins support from an unexpected direction: Rabbi Altmann, a Man City supporter who fled the Nazis, who publishes an open letter opposing the ...
The Belfast football team Glentoran's stadium, the Oval was used for exterior shots covering as the old Maine Road football stadium. See more »
Friar's trips to the camp to collect Bert are filmed in very hilly country, echoing the cliche of rural England. In actuality the landscape between St Helens and Makerfield, where Trautmann was interned, is fairly flat, and would have been quite industrial even at the time. See more »
In Germany we say "thank you".
Thank you? Why should I thank you? Do you know you nearly got me lynched in there? Why didn't you keep your gob shut for one minute? You know, you've got two options. It's either football or hard labour. I'm doing you a favour, mate.
We should be clear. The reason you brought me out was to help yourself. And if you want me again playing, then you take me out of the camp more.
You don't want much, do you?
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Quite often in sports biopics, the story far super cedes their sporting achievements. This couldn't be any more true in the case of Bert Trautmann as his fascinating story gets told here; becoming a hero to many Englishman not so long after fighting to kill them.
What this film succeeds in is balancing when the right time for poignancy is and when to include some levity. What lets it down is the pacing. There were a few times where I felt the wrong moments were being drawn out, where more important and interesting moments were being rushed through too quickly.
You don't need to be a football fan to enjoy it, it's a human interest story above all else.
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