The Damned United
After failing to qualify for the 1974 World Cup, England manager Alf Ramsey is sacked and replaced by Don Revie, the highly successful manager of Leeds United. Revie is replaced at Leeds by Brian Clough, the former manager of Derby County and a fierce critic of Leeds’s style of play under Revie.
A strange choice you might think, replacing your most successful manager to his biggest critic. But then this is a strange film. Based loosely around the facts, it’s a fictional interpretation of one of the most colourful characters British football has ever had, Brian Clough.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, as this is a film that starts off in the future, and goes back to the past like a game of tennis until future and past collide creating the present. if you’re not a fan of films that jump around like this then you’ bets stay away. But if you do stay away you’ll be missing out on a fantastic drama that takes a broad brush to the history books.
Michael Sheen nails the role of the charismatic Brian Clough who’s style of managing rubs he bosses totally the wrong way, but gets the job done in a spectacular fashion. The problem is that he thinks its all him and forgets that with out his friend and assistant Peter Taylor, he would have achieved nothing. The other problem (yes, he has more than one) is that he really is an egotistical pig, and is being driven by a sense of misguided revenge.
As such, you know he’s heading for a train wreck, but it’s what he does after the wreak that defines him as a man.
Whilst not as funny as i was expecting – it’s maybe a little too black in it’s comedic quota, The Dammed United is an enjoyable little drama that will, if you give it a chance, transcend any perceived notions that it can only be enjoyed by fans of British football. It is in fact a story that we can all learn from.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: March 10th, 2010
Stars: Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Joseph Dempsie
Length (Minutes): 94
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Director: Hooper, Tom
Studio: Sony Pictures