Story

The Keeper is the true story of famed German-English football player Bert Trautmann (David Kross). It follows his journey from WWII German prisoner of war in northern England to goalkeeper for Manchester City.

While Bert is a POW in England, local football manager Jack (John Henshaw) sees Bert’s natural aptitude as a goalkeeper and recruits Bert to play for his losing team. As Bert battles hostility from football fans and the general public alike, he and Jack’s daughter Margaret (Freya Mavor) fall in love.

The story comes to a head during the infamous 1956 FA Cup final, in which Bert breaks his neck but plays on to help Manchester City win.

Themes

War; death of children; children as victims; murder; sexism; relationship breakdown; PTSD; grief and loss

Violence

The Keeper has some violence. For example:

  • War scenes show soldiers being bombed and shot. The shooting images are graphic and show spurting blood.
  • A severed deer head is shown after an explosion.
  • Bert is kicked in the head during a soccer tackle. This is serious and causes a severe injury.
  • Two men wrestle in a cemetery. Neither is badly hurt.

Sexual references

The Keeper has some sexual references. For example:

  • Soldiers wolf-whistle at a woman.
  • There’s a reference to giving a man a ‘hand job’.
  • It’s implied several times that a couple has had sex.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

The Keeper shows some use of substances. For example:

  • People often smoke tobacco.
  • People often drink beer and spirits.

Nudity and sexual activity

The Keeper has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Couples kiss.
  • A young married couple kisses intimately in bed.
  • A woman suggests that all German soldiers would be ‘dying to get in our knickers’.
  • Men are shown in their underwear several times.

Product placement

No product placement of concern is noted.

Coarse language

The Keeper has some coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Keeper is a semi-fictionalised account of German POW turned English soccer great, Bert Trautmann. The movie follows his rise to fame and his personal story of love and loss.

Although it’s both heart-warming and funny at times, this movie is often slow-paced as well as emotionally clunky. It’s also important to note that The Keeper significantly downplays the role Bert Trautmann played in WWII as a Nazi soldier and his participation in Nazi-affiliated organisations before his soccer career.

The Keeper isn’t recommended for children under eight years and might distress children under 13 years. We recommend parental guidance up to 13 years, because of the movie’s violence, themes of death and injury, coarse language and sexual references.

The main messages from this movie are that we can’t move past bad experiences if we refuse to forgive those who’ve hurt us. The movie also emphasises not judging people by appearances.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include forgiveness and comradeship.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:

  • sexism and gender roles – for example, a man is derided as a ‘Nancy boy’ for dancing
  • injuries and how you should take them seriously and not ignore them.