Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos 2006

Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

Critics Consensus

You don't have to be a soccer fan to enjoy this stylish, breezy slice of 1970s sports history.

81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 59

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,416

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Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos Photos

Movie Info

This documentary looks back on a time when soccer briefly captured America's attention. The film profiles the North American Soccer League franchise the New York Cosmos and the sensation it created back in the 1970s. Using archival footage, old photos and anecdotes from former players and businessmen, it tells the story -- or several conflicting stories -- of a team starring Brazilian soccer legend Pele, formed by non-sports people and ultimately submarined by the league's excessive expansion.

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Critic Reviews for Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

  • Oct 06, 2010
    documentery on how football, or soccer as its known over there, captured americas imagination and competed to be its number 1 sport in the 1970s, and how it went from a nothing league to a major sucess and then dying a death, a interesting acount of that time, with interviews from the stars and businessmen of the time, brings up some interesting points s to why either footcall could suceed or fail in a country where american football, baseball, basketball, are all top draws, a shame, pele decided not to be part of documentery as he was major part of story
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2007
    The story of when Pele came to the US to break FOOTBALL. It worked for about 3 years and then Pele left.
    Nyk P Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2007
    [font=Century Gothic]"Once in a Lifetime" is a flashy and mildly interesting documentary about the rise and fall of the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League which was a moribund, semi-pro league until Warner Communications CEO Steve Ross stepped in and brought Brazilian soccer great Pele to New York. There are some fascinating parallels between the Cosmos and the Yankee teams of the same era, but the Yankees definitely had more personality.(I don't think there is a single reason why soccer has never flourished here. Maybe it is because the United States is a heterogenous country that already has several popular sports, each with their own devoted following. Certainly, nativism is too simplistic an explanation.) Included is archival footage of games along with interviews with management, coaches, players, sportswriters and even the mascot...and oh yeah, almost forgot, Henry Kissinger.[/font] [font=Century Gothic]The effect that the Cosmos had on soccer in the United States was almost negligible and it would not be until the 1994 World Cup, that soccer would be firmly established here with Major League Soccer. The overall mistake was in aiming too high, making the league too top heavy by signing expensive world players and concentrating them in New York, thus laying a foundation of cards. There would have been no problem with more modest aims in starting from the ground up. Plus, the North American Soccer League had 24 teams at its peak compared to 13 currently for Major League Soccer. The documentary lays the blame at the feet of egotistical star player Giorgio Chinaglia. Right reason but wrong ego. Steve Ross should get the lion's share of credit for the success of the league but also the blame for its downfall.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • May 19, 2007
    Interesting doc about the history of soccer in America in the 70's.
    Wu C Super Reviewer

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