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The Damned United [DVD] [2009]

4.4 out of 5 stars 208 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • The Damned United [DVD] [2009]
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  • Brian Clough: I Believe in Miracles [DVD] [2015]
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  • Clough - The Brian Clough Story  [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Colm Meaney, Elizabeth Carling
  • Directors: Tom Hooper
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Hindi
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Aug. 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TV0AHW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,046 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 Foster

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Michael Sheen is a rather excellent actor with an ability to act people better than they can act themselves. His Brian Clough is right on the nail. So, hats off to him!
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This guy is just too clever for words, actor & Cloughy
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By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Don Revie and Brian Clough were great footballers and great managers, both from Middlesbrough (about 10 miles north of where I grew up) but the film sets them up as tragic enemies in a reputational boxing match in which stinging blow after blow is landed by each to the benefit of neither. David Pearce's novel has Clough as the admirer of Revie who turns against his hero. They battle it out at key points of Clough's early career at Derby County, and at his short career at Leeds itself, and finish it off on TV. Revie leaves for disappointment at England, Clough to be reborn at Nottingham Forest, neither are ever the same again.

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.
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Using an astute mixture of documentary and fictionalized reconstruction, director Tom Hooper gives us a superb parallel account of Brian Clough's management of two football teams in the late 60s/early 70s: Derby County (assisted by Peter Taylor) and Leeds United (without Taylor). While the principals don't look particularly like their characters, the acting is so good and the story so involving that you soon forget that these are not real people. Michael Sheen, in a film which sadly won't get the worldwide distribution of The Queen or Frost/Nixon, is at the top of his game, conveying effortlessly not only the maverick manager's self-destructive egotism and ambition, but also deeper shades of a flawed but brilliant personality. Timothy Spall is (despite a wide discrepancy in physical appearance) engaging and convincing as Taylor, while Colm Meaney never ceases to surprise in his deft handling of difficult roles - here very believable as Clough's nemesis Don Revie. Jim Broadbent is great as usual as Derby's long-suffering Chairman, and the only character I felt struck a false note was Stephen Graham as Billy Bremner - played as a squat and sulky cherub, almost a cruel parody of the man - and not really convincing as a professional footballer.

The plot cracks along with humour and dramatic turns at the expense of a few factual compromises, and the era is re-created with a smattering of anachronisms - but these discrepancies are forgivable. In fact, most of the interesting half hour or so of deleted scenes would have enriched the film even more if they had been kept, showing as they do Clough ranging from his most heartless to his most loving.
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I am definitely NT a football fan but this film is great -Michael Sheen may be a little OTT at times but the whole is no worse for that. Leeds United players are gems and does it never stop raining in Leeds? Eminently watchable. Not sure how much is true or believable but it makes a good story !
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Michael Sheen simply IS Brian Clough in this film. It is a reminder of what a great football manager Brian Clough was and what a great actor Michael Sheen is. And TimothySpall and Jim Broadbent in supporting roles are both excellent too.
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This (in)famous sequence in which Leeds United chairman Manny Cousins puts this question to the (about to be) sacked manager Brian Howard Clough (in response to Clough's compensation pay demands) is just one of many golden moments in Tom Hooper's masterly 2009 depiction of the life and career of the best manager England never had. Indeed, although it undoubtedly helps, I don't think you actually need to be a 'football saddo' (like me) who is always thrilled to stumble upon an early Sunday morning showing on ITV4 of the Big Match from the 1970s (the period when I actually was a football fan), to appreciate the brilliance of Hooper's film, and of Peter Morgan's screenplay (making it, for me, up with the likes of The Hustler, This Sporting Life, Eight Men Out, etc as one of the finest ever sporting screen depictions).

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).
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