The Damned United [DVD] 
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From the Academy Award-nominated writer of The Queen and Frost/Nixon, The Damned United is based on the incredible true story of Brian Clough, one of England’s greatest soccer managers and his 44 controversial days at the helm of reigning champs Leeds United. Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Twilight Saga: New Moon) triumphs as Clough starring alongside a winning ensemble cast that includes Timothy Spall (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Colm Meaney (Layer Cake) and Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). This inspiring and humorous sports drama is about the power of friendship in the face of adversity and the stubborn will of one man to play by his own rules.
Based on the best-selling book of the same name, The Damned United is the story of one of Britain’s finest ever football managers, Brian Clough, and his curtailed 44-day reign at the helm of Leeds United. It turns out it’s also the tale of his formative years at Derby County, the story of his rivalry with previous Leeds United boss Don Revie, and ultimately, the exploration of his relationship with his assistant, Peter Taylor.
The film explores the story by moving backwards and forwards in time, but always at the heart of The Damned United is its trump card. Michael Sheen has already richly deserved an abundance of plaudits in his acting career, not least for his superb portrayal of David Frost in Frost/Nixon, and he carves out another terrific performance here. Taking on the challenge of playing the larger than life Clough, his work here is tremendous, and the highlight of an already-strong cast that also features Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney.
On the screen, the story of The Damned United is actually distilled into quite a straightforward tale, albeit one considerably enhanced by its aforementioned cast. It wisely keeps its running time trimmed, and while you can’t help but suspect that there’s much to the story that’s not explored here, it’s a good, solid telling of a quite extraordinary tale. Sheen won’t, of course, attract Oscar-attention for such a resoundingly British role, but surely his time, on this latest piece of evidence, will come. --Jon FosterSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael Sheen is scary as Clough, Colm Meaney brilliant as Revie, both sound like their counterparts and even begin to look like the originals. The Leeds squad is recognisable even to me at this remove; and so is the pre-Thatcher world of self-made men running British sport with all the witless charm that they ran their businesses. The attitudes, the accents, the fashions and the locations are spot on; yet this is not a sports film, you see very little soccer, it's an old fashioned tragedy about rivalry and hubris, about genius and the deadening effect of the mediocre types who seem to run sport (as they run life). The cast are brilliant and the result a great tale.
Of course, in the role as the Middlesbrough lad we have an astonishing and uncanny performance from the great Michael Sheen - his other 'film impersonations' have been impressive (David Frost, Bliar, etc), but none gets anywhere near his Clough - it really is as if he inhabits the role. Not to be outdone, The Damned United also features another remarkably life-like performance with Colm Meaney doing a great (and typically dour) Don Revie, the Leeds United manager whose job Clough had inherited for his 44 days in the role (as Revie went on to manage England), and with whom Clough had a publicly vindictive relationship (which in the film is portrayed as stemming from an incident where celebrated Leeds manager Revie had snubbed Clough's offered handshake whilst the latter was languishing in the lower divisions managing the (soon to be big) Derby County).Read more ›
The only negative is some of the deleted scenes, especially the one when he comes in at half time and makes the players drink a bottle of brandy after a shocking first half against Leeds Utd. It just goes straight to Clough in his office which to any non football fan will make no sense at all as we are used to seeing managers in the dugout. Little things like that take the shine of it a little but there is no doubt its got a good plot with fantastic actors who pull off there roles exceptionally well.
Michael Sheen for the next James Bond??? Stranger things have happened (Derby County winning the first division for one!!!)
The Damned United is an adaptation from David Peace's 2006 novel of the same name, a novel that although hugely popular and garnered critical acclaim, was altered in certain events so as to avoid libel issues from players and Clough's family alike. With that knowledge in mind, Tom Hooper's film about the battered mind of Brian Clough (Michael Sheen practically getting it down pat) during his 44 days in charge of Leeds United in 1974 (after inheriting the job from his hugely successful nemesis, Don Revie), has to be taken with a little pinch of salt. But that doesn't make this a bad film, because somewhat surprisingly, it's a very good one, in fact it's one of the better sports movies to have come out of Britain for some time.
Hooper and screenwriter Peter Morgan have wisely kept the on pitch action to a minimum, this is after all about a football man, not a film about football. Weaving the story of Clough's rise up the management ladder with his success at Derby County-with his egotistical and revenge fuelled tenure as Leeds boss-works a treat. It's a nice way to format the story, as is the fact that the film is told from the perspective of Cloughie himself. We are left in no doubt about what drives Clough on, and it's very refreshing that the special relationship that Clough had with his assistant Peter Taylor (imothy Spall) is formed and is obviously crucial to the story. However, if hampered with legal constraints or merely not enough time to cram it all in? Hooper's picture doesn't quite win the match outright as regards Cloughie's mania and fears. But he was such a much loved figure was Brian, and just maybe this film has gone as far as it should?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very good film about Brian Cough's reign at Leeds United as manager. A time I remember well.This will be enjoyed by many people especially football fans.Published 1 month ago by Geedee
Absolute bargain. Great film, brilliant acting and good evenings entertainment.Published 2 months ago by J D Beck
Fab film. Service from Amazon spot on as was very well priced and was received within a few days of ordering.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer