7.6/10
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81 user 147 critic

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.

Director:

Tom Hooper

Writers:

Peter Morgan (screenplay), David Peace (novel)

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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colm Meaney ... Don Revie
Henry Goodman ... Manny Cussins
David Roper David Roper ... Sam Bolton
Jimmy Reddington Jimmy Reddington ... Keith Archer
Oliver Stokes Oliver Stokes ... Nigel Clough
Ryan Day Ryan Day ... Simon Clough
Michael Sheen ... Brian Clough
Mark Bazeley ... Austin Mitchell
Timothy Spall ... Peter Taylor
Maurice Roëves ... Jimmy Gordon
Stephen Graham ... Billy Bremner
Peter McDonald ... Johnny Giles
Mark Cameron ... Norman Hunter
Frank Skillin Frank Skillin ... Younger Nigel Clough
Dylan Van Hoof 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 love me for what I'm not... ...they hate me for what I am." See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Prokleti United See more »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

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

A game against Leeds is described as being four days before the 1973 European Cup semi final in Turin versus Juventus. Derby actually played Arsenal on that particular Saturday. The events shown in that game are completely false and notice that no score for that game is shown. 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.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

 
Excellent character study of depth and resonance. A great Brit-flick.
31 March 2009 | by iandflemingSee all my reviews

I am currently two thirds of the way through the novel. I'm finding it to be a great discovery. Peace's writing has all the energy and pace of Irvine Welsh at his best and having just caught the Red Riding trilogy, he's captured my imagination. What he has truly captured in The Damn United is the true spirit of the 70's and the days when I would watch football dressed in the kit of whatever team I was supporting that week, on my Dad's knee. My Dad loathed Brian 'Bigmouth' / 'Bighead' Clough! But even as a boy I loved him, thought he was hilarious. Reading the novel and seeing the film, we discover a man truly out of time ... more a man / celebrity of the future. The first celebrity football manager? If he'd been a manager in the Britpop era, he'd be a national treasure now ... and may even have been given the England job he so coveted and that the fans longed for him to have. watching Sheen (yet again!) faithfully recreate voice, mannerisms ... inhabiting this character, makes this film (for it is a 'film' in the truly British sense) all the more compelling. Cloughie is complex, sensitive, probably with an inner shyness that he masked outrageously with his outspoken diatribes. He was everywhere when I was a kid ... TV, papers, magazines ... always with a controversial line that makes Noel Gallagher look like he minces his words. The on screen footie from actors is mercifully kept to a minimum, as - as always, actors don't make for convincing footballers. Even the moments from them we do get, they look clueless. But it doesn't detract from the story ... a story of obsessive desire, absolute drive and male relationships, in a time when male bonding usually meant trading a punch or two. This is a good if unfaithful adaptation of the novel. Why in the film do Cloughie and Peter Taylor fall out with a row on the Malaga harbour? In the novel, they trade punches and Cloughie makes a real show of himself ... thus making the reunion all the more difficult. But it's a small gripe. The thing I really took from this was although times have changed for football - when did Man Utd dressing room last have ashtrays??? - essentially, things have changed little. Big star players, vast amounts of money (£150,000 was considered a fortune back then), teams fortunes spinning on their positions in the old division one, the league being dominated by one or four big clubs. And the cheating, and the ref baiting ... little has truly changed.

Good to see a strong Brit-flick that doesn't resort to mockney gangster schlick or the current plethora of cheap horror schlock. This is a character study of depth and resonance. Beautifully, stylistically photographed and wonderfully performed. GO SEE IT!


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