The Damned United
Category Sport , Drama
Year: 2009
Time: 98 minutes
Production: BBC Films
Director: Tom Hooper
Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Stephen Graham
Our Rating 9/10 - One of the best football movies I've seen
Watchability 8/10
Contributed by JT

Recounting the 44 days that Brian Clough, one of the greatest football managers of his time, took charge of the mighty Leeds United with flashbacks that chart the rise of his managerial career from humble beginnings, his relationship with asistant manager Peter Taylor and his ambition to be better than Don Revie - the Leeds United manager that he was to succeed.

So, how does it end?

Clough does not respect his players, who seem to despise him, and the Leeds players do not take to his coaching style.  With captain Bremner suspended for violent conduct, his team make the worst start to a season in the football club's history and the board call an emergency meeting.  Taking advice from several players including Bremner, the Directors want to terminate Clough's contract - who holds them to ransom for a bumper pay-off.

Clough soon appears on a prime-time talkshow alongside Don Revie his great rival, where they both pass snide comments about the other to further highlight their animosity.

As it ends, Clough drives down to Brighton and to Peter Taylor's house where he begs for forgiveness as he knows they only work well together.

In the closing titles, it reveals what happened to all managers invovled - Don Revie was a failure as England manager and moved out to the Middle East, while Clough and Taylor reformed their partnership to take charge at a little club called Nottingham Forest which they took to the top of the First Divison - and on to become winners of the European Cup two years in a row - something not achieved by Revie in his time at Leeds.


Maybe I'm biased as Brian Clough was a legendary player for my team long before I was born, and the movie keeps mentioning "Sunderland" without a word about our rivals "Newcastle", but it genuinely is a good football (the sport that actuallly uses your feet to strike the balll - I'm not calling it soccer!) movie - mixing real (archive) footage for action was a good move and a lot better than the usual fast-paced blur to hide the actors' terrible skills with ridiculous close-ups of the rolling ball -- which is always in thick, squelching mud for some reason.

6.33/10 ( 3 Votes )
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