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The Damned United (2009)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 27,494 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 72 user | 144 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A look at Brian Clough's 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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A featurette talking about the real Brian Clough, including thoughts from retired athletes who played under Cough. Bonus feature for the DVD/Blu-ray of the film The Damned United (2009).

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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David Roper ...
Jimmy Reddington ...
Oliver Stokes ...
Ryan Day ...
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Mark Cameron ...
Frank Skillin ...
Dylan Van Hoof ...
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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 »


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:

Az elátkozott Leeds United  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$32,065 (USA) (9 October 2009)

Gross:

$449,558 (USA) (5 February 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to published reports, Kenneth Branagh was considered for the role of Don Revie. See more »

Goofs

Allan Clarke is named as a scorer in the 27.01.68 game but he didn't become a Leeds player until 1969. See more »

Quotes

Muhammed Ali: [Clough, Taylor & their families watch Muhammed Ali on television] Some fella in London, England named, some Brian... Brian Clough. I heard all the way in America that this fella talks too much. They say he's another Mohammed Ali. There's just one Mohammed Ali. Now, Clough, I've had enough. Stop it.
Peter Taylor: Are you gonna stop it?
Brian Clough: No, I'm going to fight him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Perfect Pitch: The Making of 'The Damned United (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Tom Hark
Written by Rupert Bopape
(c) 1958 EMI (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd.
peermusic (UK) 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 (United Kingdom) – 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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