Skip to main content


USA, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Documentaries)

Director: John Dower, Paul Crowder

“An engrossing account of American soccer's strangest episode — and you don't even have to like football to enjoy it.” - Empire
In 1971, Warner Bros mogul Steve Ross found a passion for a beautiful and exotic game that still lay unappreciated in the US. After experiencing the fanatical crowds of the finals of the previous year's football World Cup, he set out to create a glamour team to rival the Harlem Globetrotters and bring soccer to the American masses.
Once in a Lifetime chronicles the rise of the New York Cosmos as the players skyrocketed from zeroes to heroes with the help of international superstars such as Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer. With weekly sell-out crowds and their reserved table at Studio 54, the team became celebrities and then spiralled into self-destructive hedonism.
“People remember the New York Cosmos as a retirement home for past-their-prime legends looking to pick up an easy pay cheque. But Once in a Lifetime shows there was a lot more to it than that.” - The Guardian

D John Dower, Paul Crowder P John Battsek, Fisher Stevens, Time Williams S Matt Monroe Dist Madman TD 35mm/col/2005/97mins

John Dower was born in the UK in 1972. Paul Crowder was born in London, UK, in 1962. Their films include Live Forever (MIFF 2003).

See also...


“It wasn't a fight for a belt; it was a war.” - Sundance Film Festival ... Touted as ‘the greatest fight of all time', the Thriller in Manila held in 1975 was the third and final confrontation ... More »


Pompous pop stars, arrogant artists, cynical critics and ... the Gallagher brothers, all have their say in this wonderfully hyperactive and deliciously funny account of the short-lived and over-hyped ... More »


“Sarah Silverman is the most outrageously funny woman alive. If you want proof of that declaratory sentence, see Jesus Is Magic.” - Rolling Stone From behind the scatterbrain Jewish-American ... More »


Does America have a ruling class? How does one join it, and should one even want to? Written by Lewis Lapham, American Ruling Class explores the US's most taboo topics: class, power and privilege in ... More »


Intimate and engaging, Sydney Pollack's first documentary outing is an utterly personal profile of one of the world's leading architects. Best known for the breathtaking Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao ... More »


On St Patrick's Day 1990, 500 million dollars worth of art was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston - the largest art heist ever. Rebecca Dreyfus' Stolen documents the attempt to ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director