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The Damned United (2009)

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



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





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


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


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


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 March 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az elátkozott Leeds United  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£618,929 (UK) (29 March 2009)


$449,558 (USA) (7 February 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Part of this was filmed in Scarborough in Yorkshire where they pretended it was Brighton by using computer graphics to show the pier. In one scene filmed there they forgot to cover the machine to pay for parking which did not exist at that time. See more »


An action scene depicts the Leeds side conceding a goal to Luton Town and post match scenes that depict Luton players celebrating a victory with a caption saying Leeds 0 Luton 1. While the match is correctly portrayed as the game that precipitated the sacking of Brian Clough the actual result was a 1-1 draw. See more »


Brian Clough: [Arriving in Brighton. Sings] Oh, I don't like to be beside the seaside...
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Referenced in The Changing Game: Football in the Seventies (2010) See more »


Nice One Cyril
Written by Harold Spiro / Helen Clarke
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A perfect movie for me
1 April 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I had a few reservations about this film. Firstly we have seen Michael Sheen play a number of real life people in the last couple of years. Would it be possible for Sheen to cast aside these previous roles and play another big well known (in the UK) character in Brian Clough. I also had the distinct feeling that this may be a made for TV film that was bumped up to a theatrical release based on Sheen's recent success. My final reservation was whether the football would look good as it is frequently very poor when played by actors.

I have got to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the film. The main focus of the film is the relationship between the young pretender in football management Clough and the master in Don Revie the Manager of Leeds United. The film focuses on Clough's short tenure as the manager of Leeds after replacing Revie in 1974. The lead performances by Sheen and Meaney are excellent and it is at least as enthralling as the Frost/Nixon interplay.

It is a perfect film for me as it covers a period when my football passion was at its peak as I was about 10 years old at the time. As for the reservations I had nothing to worry about with Sheen. He transforms into Clough and it is truly a remarkable portrayal. I still tend to think that the film wouldn't lose very much on the small screen. Finally the film cleverly uses real life footage and we see very little of the actors playing football. That's probably just as well as they seemed a little older than the real players were. I'll have to check their bios to confirm that, but Bremner and Clarke looked the wrong side of 40 to me.

I suspect that to get the most out of the film you'll probably need to like football, but if you do you're more or less guaranteed to enjoy it.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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