VOD film review: Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In
James R | On 29, May 2021
Director: Jason Ferguson
Cast: Alex Ferguson
Where to watch Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In online in the UK: Amazon Prime
From its very title, Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In sounds like a promotional documentary to support the launch of an autobiography – a world away from the footballing legend known for his formidable managing style, long-running winning streak and angry outbursts at his players. But what becomes clear over 90 moving minutes is that this is a probing, personal study of a man looking back at his life and career.
Directed by his son, Jason, the film was made after Ferguson had a brain haemorrhage in 2018, leaving him afraid that he might lose his memories. And so we jump back from his stroke to chart his many years, from his working-class roots in Glasgow to his professional days on the pitch for Rangers and later his time off the pitch leading Aberdeen to the European Cup Winners’ Cup and, of course, to Manchester United.
The access to archive footage is, as you’d expect, superb, and it’s testament to the strength of that intimacy and knowledge of its subject that the promised parade of talking heads – including Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs – is actually quite a minimal part of the movie, with the focus instead on Alex and his family. It becomes not just a retrospective, but an exploration of one man’s bond with his loved ones, the balance of professional and personal commitments – early on, he was bullied by his protestant football club for marrying Catholic wife Cathy – and the mental resilience required to keep going through all of it. It’s more than just sports, although fans won’t be disappointed, and that turns his inherently inspirational story into a rousing and thoughtful watch.
Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.