7.6/10
38,047
83 user 148 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)
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 J-26

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the film you see a pier call Brighton Pier, yet in the 1970s this was called the Palace Pier or even Brighton Palace Pier. It was also a completely different looking pier to what was seen, it has been refurbished and changed many times since. See more »

Quotes

Brian Clough: [Arriving in Brighton. Sings] Oh, I don't like to be beside the seaside...
See more »

Connections

Features Match of the Day (1964) 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

 
Whether or not it's fact or fiction it's certainly entertaining!
24 March 2009 | by thependragon-1See all my reviews

I went to see this film with a certain trepidation as I don't always understand the true workings of the so-called beautiful game. I'm often rather lost by the offside rule, not too sure what actually constitutes handball and can't quite understand why a good friend can kiss a poster of George Weah and refer to the Liberian as a God. However, I can recognise what a worldwide phenomenon football has become and the massive status that the late Brian Clough held within in the sport.

Clough was one heck of a character and very much of his time and this is where 'The Damned United' really succeeds. You feel like you are truly watching the 70s when men were men and modern players like constant diver Cristiano Ronaldo would have been laughed (or even kicked) off the pitch. Sheen gives an excellent performance and Clough is portrayed as a complex individual with the sort of charisma and wit, which may endear him to cinema-goers who have little knowledge of football or the man himself.

However, I saw this film with a friend who is a huge soccer fan and who confessed afterwards to having certain problems with the accuracy of the story. The film is after all based on a book by David Peace, which merges the facts with his own fiction to show what he thought might being going on behind the scenes during Clough's reign as manager of Derby County and his infamous 44 days in charge at Leeds United. Having recently watched some TV dramatisations of Peace's other novels involving the real life Yorkshire Ripper murders it is easy to see why some people find his particular way of merging fact with fiction lacking in credibility. I personally didn't have such a problem with this film as I felt it really got to grips with who Clough was as a football manager and his probable motives for how he went about the job at Leeds.

While the film's narrative sometimes veers confusingly back and forth between Clough's time at Derby and his short spell at Leeds, 'The Damned United' is a really enjoyable piece of entertainment full of great actors bringing to life intriguing characters. The ultimate strength of the film is that the story manages to become more about friendship (the relationship between Brian and Peter Taylor) and the destructiveness of vanity rather than how many football matches Clough won.


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