The Damned United

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From the Academy Award-nominated writer of The Queen and Frost/Nixon, The Damned United is based on the incredible true story of Brian Clough, one of England’s greatest soccer managers and his 44 controversial days at the helm of reigning champs Leeds United. Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Twilight Saga: New Moon) triumphs as Clough starring alongside a winning ensemble cast that includes Timothy Spall (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire),… More >>

The Damned United

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  1. This is a brilliantly filmed, original movie. Based on David Peace’s spare, gritty novel, it brings alive the ill fated 44 day managership of Brian Clough at Leeds United, explaining why he was such a controversial choice to manage the club given the long acrimonious history between Leeds and Derby when Don Revie was the manager of football’s champions Leeds and Clough was at the helm of young pretenders Derby.

    Michael Sheen shows off his brilliant skills in conveying real life characters (he has given similar treatment to Tony Blair, David Frost and Kenneth Williams); and recreates Brian Clough in his own image, a slightly camp, antagonistic manager frequently undermining his own chairman.

    The filming recreates many of the tropes of the 1970s – ashtrays laid out with half time oranges in the dressing room, Wizard boys comics, psychedelic wallpaper – and makes the film a hugely enjoyable piece of ersatz period drama.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. A few months ago when I was overseas I heard about this movie, based on a true story about controversial soccer manager Brian Clough.

    A few days ago, I went to see the movie, in San Francisco. I wondered what other people in the theater might think, if they would get it.

    Sure enough, non soccer followers, who probably had no clue about Clough or Revie were sucked into the drama of the legendary confrontation, between these two rivals, which surpassed my expectations.

    Someone more outpoken and more controversial than Brian Clough would be difficult to imagine, someone destined to become one of the most outstanding managers in the history of English soccer. Don Revie managed League Champions Leeds United. Clough managed Derby County previous years League Champions. Don Revie leaves Leeds to manage England, and Leeds made the bonehead decision to appoint the outspoken Clough in his place, outspoken because of his criticism and dislike of both Revie and the style of play under his management. This outspokenness led to clashes with the players whose successful, although rough style, had led them to incredible success.

    As you get further into the movie, I suspect you will get drawn into its surprising twists and turns.

    I was particularly impressed with Colm Meaney’s portrayal of Revie. At one point I wondered if was actually Revie or Meaney I was watching, if it was actual footage of Revie. Michael Sheen who played Prime Minister Tony Blair in The Queen, nails Clough’s distinct accent and outspokenness to a tee. Some of these Leeds players were greats, but the character development is very thin here. I understand that some of these players threatened to sue, as did Clough’s family, which might explain this.

    I wish they had shown more of the Keegan and Bremner sendings off in Clough’s first match. One wonders though, why focus on this particular piece of an outstanding career. Clough went on take Nottingham Forest to win both the League Chamionship, and the European Cup, and at one point went 42 league games consecutively without defeat, which I don’t think any other manager has ever done. Hope this was helpful, and think you’ll enjoy the movie.

    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. There have been alot of movies made about soccer through the years, most of them have been awful, Escape to victory and A shot at glory are two that that spring to mind, this is the first great movie on the sport.It is set in the 70’s around Brian Clough’s short spell as the Leeds manager and his confrontations with the players, the previous manager and the board. It is certainly not as glamours as todays game and the producers really capture the spirit of the 70’s,with Dodgy stadiums, rubbish playing surfaces, bad haircuts and terrible fashion. This story may not be 100% accurate and some of the footballer’s dont look like athletes, but you can over look this because you get a gripping story and some excellent perfomances from some of britains best actors. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who has an interest in British football.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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