The Damned United 
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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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Written by the guy who brought us the 1974 trilogy, and presented on an excellent blu ray, this film is a must have if you lke football and even if you do not care much. You may end up loving it.
Martin Sheen is (as always) brilliant at playing the self appointed `greatest manager in England' and he's backed up by the equally excellent Timothy Spall and Jim Broadbent.
You don't have to love, or even know much about, football to like this film. It's about someone who isn't quite as clever as he thinks he is. Therefore you can't help but take a little bit of evil delight in his fall from grace. However, although Clough isn't always the genius he believes himself to be, he's never far from it. So, even when he's down, you know he won't be there for long.
Good British drama - very entertaining.
The book was written from an anti Leeds United point of view and the film begins with footage of some robust challenges by Leeds from the 1970s. As a Leeds fan I am justly proud of the players who are portrayed in the film. People forget that all teams had hard men who would physically intimidate opponents, it was a rough game. Football was still like that to some extent till the 1990s when FIFA cracked down on tackling.
Leeds' Elland Road looks too modern, the old stands and floodlights looked totally different back then. But that is a minor flaw when one considers the accurate portrayals by the main actors, in particular Sheen. Colm Meaney's Don Revie is a delight. Tim Spall gives Peter Taylor all the pathos that the role required.
This is without doubt the best film about football ever.
This DVD portrays the ludicrous appointmnet of Brian Clough as manager of Leeds - a team that he had vilified for years before hand. It is a rather flimsy remit for a film but it cleverley captures the atmophere of the times with clever usage of TV and newsreel footage of the times. At times you can almost feel that it is a documentary. Worth a watch. Michael Sheen is excellant as usual.