1966 World Cup Final, The: England v West Germany (1966)

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Released 18-Jun-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Summer of '66
Biographies-Cast-Player Profiles
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Interview with Tina Moore
Featurette-Interview with Kenneth Wolstenholme
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1966
Running Time 113:22
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (45:38) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By None Given

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Since 1930 and every four years thereafter, barring WWII, the World Cup is held, pitting all the football (soccer) playing nations of the world against each other. Up until the 1950s, England held little regard for the Jules Rimet Cup and made no effort to enter the competition. It wasn't until the late 1950s that they began to take it seriously. In 1966 they held the competition for the first time and after a series of knock-out games played West Germany in the finals at Wembley before a partisan crowd of almost 100,000 football-mad spectators.

    The English team, that included the likes of Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst and Alan Ball, was considered one of the finest sides England had produced (many still feel that the team in 1970 in Mexico was better, although they lost in the quarter-final to Brazil). Watching the game, if you are a fan, you'll notice a lot of differences in the style both of the play, the kit and the players. This was the end of a more sedate period of football where ball skills were paramount and general fitness was less of an issue. Fouls were less common, although when they did occur they were far more "crunching" than in today's game. Also, man-to-man marking was less of an art form back then. One of West Germany's best players, Franz Beckenbauer, was supposedly being man-marked by Bobby Moore who seemed to typically be about 10 yards away from him. Another big difference was in the goalkeeping. Back passing was allowed, but you could also clatter the goalie if you could get near enough. You might notice the goalkeepers bouncing the ball constantly before throwing or kicking out. The rules at the time were that keepers couldn't take more than three paces before getting rid of the ball unless they bounced it.

    The disc contains the entire match as shown on BBC TV at the time. Since colour was a long way off, this meant it was in black and white. The commentary by Kenneth Wolstenholme is considered to be one of the finest of all time. His dulcet tones and clinical style is still practised by the best commentators today, letting the game do the talking as much as possible. Some 'colour' comments from veteran Wally Barnes occasionally spice up proceedings, but the reserve that a truly British commentator has really shines through.

    As for the game itself, it is actually very watchable even all these years later, although possibly only for English supporters. It is a known fact that England won, but the game contains "that goal" which is still much disputed 36 years on, and some of the finest players to play the game of that era. If you are a true fan of football you may find this a collectable. Hopefully, they might decide to release the rest of the finals on disc, but in the meantime this will have to suffice.

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Transfer Quality


    This was taken from the original BBC TV broadcast in 1966 and has undergone some heavy duty reworking in order to make it presentable.

    1.33:1 Full Frame is the order of the day here - no 16x9 enhancement.

    If you wanted to be brutally concise then this is blurry and exceptionally grainy. On the other hand, if you've only ever seen this game as a shapeless blob on the TV, then this is as sharp as it has ever looked and since it's a game of football, who cares about grain? Shadow detail is about as good as you'd get looking at a TV picture (almost non-existent), but low level noise is not in evidence at least.

    Colour, what colour? This is strictly black and white and various shades of grey. There isn't a lot to get excited about. You can make out that West Germany is in white, England are in...umm...not black and the referee is in black.

    Surprisingly enough there are almost no film artefacts to be seen. To be more accurate, there is so much grain that it would be hard to pick them out anyway. Aliasing, moiré effects and all other film-to-video effects, including MPEG problems don't seem to be an issue. There is the occasional slight line down the picture but nothing else of note.

    The subtitles are white on a black and white background and very easy to read. Their accuracy is questionable at times, taking great liberties with the commentator's call and abbreviating him substantially throughout, but they do convey most of the salient points.

    There is a slight glitch in the picture at around 45:38 which I made note of that may be the layer change, but it is fast and almost unnoticeable. It is quite possible because of the speed of the pause that this was a glitch and the layer change is discretely hidden somewhere else.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio tracks on this disc. The first is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 192 kilobits per second which contains the original commentary track of Wolstenholme and Barnes, along with the crowd noises as they describe the game. The second is a commentary track, again in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 kilobits per second, from five of the former players.

    There was nothing too spectacular about the audio on this disc. It's like watching a football game on TV - strictly front and centre. The voices were very clear and clean and easy to listen to.

    At around 45:30 into the game, the sound hollows out and the volume drops noticeably. This lasts until about 108:30 when the sound once again regains its initial level and continues on unabated from then on.

    Wolstenholme's commentary was clear, precise and very easy to understand. There were no audio sync problems.

    Apart from the brass band before the game and again at half time, music wasn't much in evidence.

    There was virtually no activity from the surrounds or the subwoofer except for some crowd noise that was redirected to the surrounds, but this was more incidental than expected.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Audio & Animation

    A static picture with extracts from the preliminaries and the game inserted into the right side. The whole thing loops every 60 seconds.


    With a running time of 18:15, displayed in 1.33:1 Full Frame, this is a series of interviews with former players from both sides on the game itself and includes discussion of the disputed goal given to England.


    15 pictures from the game and of the commentary team.


    Biographies of all the England team players and details of their playing careers.

Audio Commentary

    This is a player commentary as they watch the game. Former players Jack Charlton, Gordon Banks, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and George Cohen reminisce about the opening ceremonies and discuss the game as it is played. Very interesting with some witty comments from these ex-players. There is a lot of separation through the channels which makes it easier to listen to the various comments.


    A 9:46 minute interview with Bobby Moore's wife about her former husband (Bobby Moore died in 1993) and about his relationships with Alf Ramsey, the other players, on playing in the finals, the final itself and the aftermath. This is very much a tribute to this former great player.


    With a running time of 14:53, this is shot in 1.33:1 Full Frame and is an interview with Kenneth Wolstenholme on his recollections of this period. The interview is broken up into little vignettes on the atmosphere surrounding the game, the manager, the players, the match itself and that comment.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can ascertain, there is no Region 1 version of this disc, although there is a Region 2 version which appears to be about the same as the one due for release here.


    Although there has been some major restoration done to get this disc to look even this good, the blurriness of the picture attests to its TV origin. Still a decent game in terms of World Cup finals, this is probably one strictly for the fans. The video is as good as it will ever be, the audio adequate for the job and the extras very decent all things considered.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDRotel RDV995, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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