Brazilian soccer star Pele, who retired from professional football three years ago, has been recruited into the movie world.
SV: Pele and former England captain Bobby Moore during rehearsals in Budapest
SV: Pele warming up and exercising and talking to film crew
SV: Pele and Moore playing football before cameras
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Background: Brazilian soccer star Pele, who retired from professional football three years ago, has been recruited into the movie world. The man many though was the best player in history has the role of an allied prisoner in World War Two alongside eighteen other film and football stars in the movie, "Escape to Victory".
SYNOPSIS: Pele, who is thirty-nine, will be playing with former arch-rival and England football captain Bobby Moore. Moore, like Pele, competed in several World Cup tournaments.
Pele is an prisoner-of-war from Trinidad enlisted in an all-prisoner team against what he thinks is a German army camp team. But the game is engineered for propaganda and Pele finds himself playing the German national team in front of a crowd of fifty thousand. Two of his fellow team-mates will be actors Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine. This month (June) director John Huston has been shooting the film in Mik Stadium in Budapest; which has been decorated to look like Colombes Stadium in Paris the scene for the 1943 match.
Pele was mobbed by fans and autograph seekers from the moment he arrived in Hungary. He joined Bobby Moore for a warm-up before shooing began, and later took part in an all-star match against a Hungarian old boys team.
In the film, Michael Caine, is the prisoner team captain Colby, and English pre-war international. He shrewdly manages to put together a team of top footballers from prisoners ranks. They train in Gensdorf Prison, which has been reconstructed using two huge sets.
Some of the other top-rated footballers in the film are Argentinian Osvaldo Ardiles, Kazimierz Deyma from Poland, Ireland's Kevin O'Callaghan, Scotsman John Wark and American Werner Roth. For Pele, who now travels the world as a talent scout for his old club Cosmos, movie making is a new experience.