7.6/10
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The Damned United (2009)

Trailer
2:09 | Trailer

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ON DISC
The story of the controversial Brian Clough's 44-day reign as the coach of the English football club Leeds United.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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David Roper ...
Sam Bolton
Jimmy Reddington ...
Keith Archer
Oliver Stokes ...
Nigel Clough
Ryan Day ...
Simon Clough
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Austin Mitchell
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Johnny Giles
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Frank Skillin ...
Younger Nigel Clough
Dylan Van Hoof ...
Younger Simon Clough
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Storyline

Taking over England's top football club Leeds United, previously successful manager Brian Clough's abrasive approach and his clear dislike of the players' dirty style of play make it certain there is going to be friction. Glimpses of his earlier career help explain both his hostility to previous manager Don Revie and how much he is missing right-hand man Peter Taylor who has loyally stayed with Brighton & Hove Albion. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but I wasn't on that particular job." See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Prokleti United  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£618,929 (United Kingdom), 29 March 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,065, 9 October 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$449,558, 7 February 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Austin Mitchell interview with Brian Clough and Don Revie, which this film bases itself on, was in Leeds at the Calendar Studio on 13 September 1974. See more »

Goofs

Derby County's rise up the Second Division table in 1968-69 is cleverly shown by superimposing a league table that clocks up points over a montage of footage of their games. However, the table almost always clocks up two points at a time. Derby drew a number of games over the season so the table should have risen by only a single point on occasion. See more »

Quotes

Peter Taylor: [embracing after being reunited] You're only gonna fuck it up again, aren't you?
Brian Clough: I love you, you know.
Peter Taylor: I know. But it won't stop you.
Brian Clough: So would you sooner go through it all without me?
Peter Taylor: Never.
See more »

Connections

Features Match of the Day (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

What's New Pussycat?
Performed by Tom Jones
Written by Burt Bacharach / Hal David
Published by EMI United Partnership Ltd
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Whether or not it's fact or fiction it's certainly entertaining!
24 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

I went to see this film with a certain trepidation as I don't always understand the true workings of the so-called beautiful game. I'm often rather lost by the offside rule, not too sure what actually constitutes handball and can't quite understand why a good friend can kiss a poster of George Weah and refer to the Liberian as a God. However, I can recognise what a worldwide phenomenon football has become and the massive status that the late Brian Clough held within in the sport.

Clough was one heck of a character and very much of his time and this is where 'The Damned United' really succeeds. You feel like you are truly watching the 70s when men were men and modern players like constant diver Cristiano Ronaldo would have been laughed (or even kicked) off the pitch. Sheen gives an excellent performance and Clough is portrayed as a complex individual with the sort of charisma and wit, which may endear him to cinema-goers who have little knowledge of football or the man himself.

However, I saw this film with a friend who is a huge soccer fan and who confessed afterwards to having certain problems with the accuracy of the story. The film is after all based on a book by David Peace, which merges the facts with his own fiction to show what he thought might being going on behind the scenes during Clough's reign as manager of Derby County and his infamous 44 days in charge at Leeds United. Having recently watched some TV dramatisations of Peace's other novels involving the real life Yorkshire Ripper murders it is easy to see why some people find his particular way of merging fact with fiction lacking in credibility. I personally didn't have such a problem with this film as I felt it really got to grips with who Clough was as a football manager and his probable motives for how he went about the job at Leeds.

While the film's narrative sometimes veers confusingly back and forth between Clough's time at Derby and his short spell at Leeds, 'The Damned United' is a really enjoyable piece of entertainment full of great actors bringing to life intriguing characters. The ultimate strength of the film is that the story manages to become more about friendship (the relationship between Brian and Peter Taylor) and the destructiveness of vanity rather than how many football matches Clough won.


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