This film, a BBC production focusing on Manchester United's 1958 crash at Munich, Germany, is definitely a heart-breaker but a worthwhile view. It's the story of triumph after tragedy--a tragedy that shook the world of English football to its core. Characterization of these youngsters (what's known of them) is excellent, as are the portrayals of their manager and their coach. But it's more than just the horrendous crash that decimated United's first team. There are deeply affecting scenes such as the one in which the families of the lost "Busby Babes" are ushered into an area where the 8 caskets lie side by side. A deeply-grieving June Jones, widowed far too soon as they all were, must be assisted away from her husband's coffin in a state of near-collapse.
Of the scenes involving survivors of the crash, two stand out in my mind and will forever. The whispered words of Matt Busby, from his German hospital bed, to his assistant Jimmy Murphy are well known to the club's world-wide family of supporters, but carry a special poignancy as brought to life by Dougray Scott (Busby) and David Tennant (Murphy). Then, back in Manchester, a deeply-grieving Bobby Charlton must be persuaded by Murphy to return to the game. The words spoken by Jack O'Connell in his portrayal of Charlton are the exact ones used at the time by the young Bobby. "How can I pass the ball, and know it's not to Duncan?"
The memory of Munich is sacred to the United "family"--the club & its supporters around the globe; and with one somewhat glaring exception the film is true to this. For whatever reason--dramatic license or what, I don't know--"United" names Mark Jones rather than Roger Byrne as captain of the squad. But this, of course, would not be known to viewers unaware of the historic tragedy and really doesn't detract from the film as a whole.