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The Damned United

  • Documentary and factual
  • Drama
  • 2009
  • Tom Hooper
  • 93 mins
  • 15

Summary

Football drama starring Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. After guiding Leeds United to the First Division title in 1974, Don Revie leaves Elland Road to become manager of England. In a surprise move, the Leeds board turns to outspoken coach Brian Clough as his replacement. But it proves to be a short-lived and bitter experience for all involved.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) gleefully re-creates the hairy, fag-smoking, pre-Premiership days of English club football in telling the story of manager Brian Clough's unhappy 44-day tenure at Leeds United in 1974. Michael Sheen follows up Frost/Nixon with another pitch-perfect performance, showing how the arrogant, outspoken, grudge-fuelled Clough took on the club, its players, fans and revered former manager Don Revie (a well-cast Colm Meaney). In adapting David Peace's dense novel, Peter Morgan (The Queen) lightens the tone and (mercifully) keeps the footballing action to a minimum, focusing on what happens in the dugout, the boardroom and behind the weatherbeaten façade of Elland Road. This slice of recent British history might not rival the death of Princess Diana, but Morgan is a master at creating drama out of mundane detail and, with Timothy Spall providing respite from the bombast as Clough's right-hand man, Peter Taylor, this is a stirring, tragicomic portrait of one of football's greatest characters.

Credits

Cast

rolename
Brian CloughMichael Sheen
Peter TaylorTimothy Spall
Don RevieColm Meaney
Sam LongsonJim Broadbent
Manny CussinsHenry Goodman
Jimmy GordonMaurice Roëves
Billy BremnerStephen Graham
John O'HareMartin Compston
Dave MackayBrian McCardie
Johnny GilesPeter McDonald
Duncan McKenzieJoseph Dempsie
Austin MitchellMark Bazeley
Barbara CloughElizabeth Carling

Crew

rolename
DirectorTom Hooper

Details

Theatrical distributor
Sony
Released on
2009-03-27
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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