"The Damned United" centres around controversial football manager Brian Clough, set in 1974 but flashing back to the 1960s, about the famed manager's ill-fated 44-day reign as coach of Leeds United, then one of the country's most successful teams.
Boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts, two at the back, rush goalie, 4-4-2, offside, three in the middle, four at the front; one's gone home for his tea: beans on toast? Possibly, don't quote me on that, wasn't it, isn't it mmm? - Marvellevous! I hate Football. Can't stand the game, for all I know; Football F.C. could be top of the Premiere League to determine the Football champions for this season of Football, that said, my disdain for the beautiful game didn't stop me from enjoying 'The Damned United'. A lively, if somewhat absurdist, adaptation of David Peace's take on legendary, larger-than-life manager Brian Clough's short lived tenure at 'Leeds United'. Now we're all familiar with that famous clip where Muhammed Ali was asked to record a message for Brian Clough (a man he'd never heard of much less met); Ali's hilarious, immortal warning could serve as an accurate template for this story: "Clough: Enough is enough!". But it never was, and Michael Sheen ('Underworld') is on top form as the cocky, but gifted, Northerner whose bitter, three way clash with Assistant manager Peter Taylor (Timothy Spall) and 'Leeds United' predecessor Don Revie (Colm Meaney) sees red cards all round and bruises Big 'Ead's sizeable ego. Michael Sheen, so convincing as David Frost in 'Frost/ Nixon', Tony Blair in 'The Deal' and Kenneth Williams in 'Fantabulosa!' is an impressionist who also happens to be an excellent actor. Sheen manages to capture the inner turmoil and Clough's convictions (delusions to some) of grandeur, in much the same way as Jamie Foxx nailed the MO of Drew Bundini Brown in Michael Mann's 'Ali'. Its best to regard this film as a work of hyper-real fiction, for a lot of the people depicted were unhappy about their portrayal and since I'm not an expert on the subject, couldn't tell you either way. As a fictional work of historical drama 'The Damned United' features some damned good performances and is watchable enough. I've got nothing more to say on the issue, is this review all over?...it is now.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Based on David Peace's book, The Damned United portrays the tempestuous 44 days that forthright Brian Clough (Michael Sheen) spent as manager of Leeds United. After alienating the side's star players and a string of awful results, 'Cloughie' was given the boot, but that's just half the story!Brian Clough was one of a kind. In 1974, Clough was already a renowned figure, just as much for his dynamic personality as for his fantastic managerial ability. Having led Derby County to the first league victory in their history, Clough left in a cloud of controversy and, after a brief spell at Brighton, found himself in the Leeds United hotseat after Don Revie's departure for the England job. What followed was the most incredible 44 days of football management! Commentary with Director Tom Hooper, Michael Sheen and Producer Andy Harries 'Perfect Pitch: The Making Of The Damned United' Featurette 'Creating Clough': Michael Sheen Takes on 'Old Big Head' Featurette 'The Changing Game: Football In The Seventies' Featurette 'Remembering Brian' Featurette Cloughisms Deleted ScenesActors Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall, Joseph Dempsie, Stephen Graham, Colm Meaney, Martin Compston, Maurice Roëves, Brian McCardie & Elizabeth CarlingDirector Tom HooperCertificate 15 years and overYear 2009Screen Widescreen 1.85:1 AnamorphicLanguages English - Dolby Digital (5.1)Subtitles English for the hard of hearing ; English ; HindiDuration 1 hour and 34 minutes (approx)
Michael Sheen stars in this dramatisation of Brian Clough's disastrous 44-day stint as the coach of Leeds United, based on the acclaimed novel by David Peace. From the outset, Clough (Sheen) does little to disguise his contempt for the club, its players, and former club manager Don Revie (Colm Meaney). As the relationship between players and manager deteriorates, so do the team's performances on the pitch, leading to Clough's dismissal by the Leeds directors. Timothy Spall and Jim Broadbent co-star.