This Sean Bean Drinking Scene Might Be The Greatest In Film History
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Yesterday was Yorkshire Day. The one day of the year we Yorkshiremen and women get to tell the rest of the UK where we come from and how great we are. And, naturally, I got thinking about Sean Bean, our greatest acting export. In particular, a scene from one of his lesser-known films, When Saturday Comes.
I often go back to it - regardless of county holidays - because I think, as do some of my mates, that it might be the greatest scene in film history.
Great movie scenes usually feature in great movies, but this little kitchen-sink drama isn't exactly Apocalypse Now.
When Saturday Comes is a pretty below-par film from 1996 which tells the story of difficult factory worker Jimmy Muir (played by Bean) whose prowess in Sunday league football lands him a trial at Sheffield United. But when he flunks the trial by turning up hungover, he has to prioritise both his love of football and Fosters.
In one scene, Jimmy, slightly more than worse-for-wear, enters a pub full of his mates celebrating one of their birthdays. "Jim, it's about fucking time!" one of them says. "Seven shots of Teachers pal," another yells to the bar.
But because Jimmy is worse-for-wear, he rejects the shot of whiskey and asks for a coke instead.
"Come again?" one of them replies.
"I said I just want a coke, alright?" Jimmy says.
None of his mates buy it. They think he's joking. But he isn't. Jimmy actually wants a coke.
"Of course he's joking you daft get," Rob says. "Have you ever seen Jimmy drink a coke?"
Jimmy, visibly struggling to stay straight, snaps back: "Now then, Rob. I said I just want a coke."
Soon, the rest of Jimmy's mates turn on each other. Two of them even get in a scuffle, which is promptly ceased by the landlord. "Not in my pub, yer don't! Alright? Alright?"
Regardless of the fact Jimmy looks like a microwaved corpse, and the fact he repeatedly asked for a coke, the lads get him the shot of Teachers.
As the rest propose a toast and neck their shots, Jimmy plays with his for a while, tempting fate.
His mate Russ tries to steer him away from the pressure. "Jimmy... it's wrong."
"It's alright, Russ," he replies. "I know what am doin'."
Within seconds, the shot is thrown back, and Jimmy, invigorated by the creature, says "Alright, get 'em in. Let's have another."
The rest of them cheer. "About time, for Christ's sake!"
The scene is unassuming, and simplistic. It's not Tony Montana dealing with a home invasion on tons of coke at the end of Scarface, but that's why I think it stands out.
We have all been Sean Bean, or at one point will be.
Words by Josh Teal