The Damned United

The “The Damned United” is a film about rivalry, and the hazards of man’s selfish ambitions. This 2009 film, directed by Tom Hooper, stars Michael Sheen as the newly appointed manager Brian Clough of the English football team (soccer to those on this side of the Atlantic) Leeds United. Clough is a “cheeky lad” to say the least, but he is passionate about the game and has the skills to take any club to the top with the help of his partner Pete Taylor (played by Timothy Spall). The movie spans the course of a six year period beginning with Clough and Taylor managing the small-town team of Darby and leading them from the bottom of the second division to the top of the first division of English football. But early in their career, they have a shot at the number one first division team Leeds United, headed by manager Don Revie (played by Colm Meaney). Clough sees this as his chance to move himself (I mean his team ahem) up the ladder. But Clough is snubbed by Revie, and this sparks a mad vow by Clough to out-do Revie at any cost. Later on, after Clough leads Darby to an eventual league championship, he loses his job with them due to his disrespectful and selfish ways. So when Revie steps down from his managerial position with his rival team and Clough is offered the job, he takes it… Will he be able to fill his rivals shoes? Or will he miss the goal with this favored team…

“The Damned United” is based on a true story and takes a topic which I did not know much about and caught my attention and kept it. Clough’s character is superbly played by Sheen (Frost/Nixon), who is an outstanding actor. His supporting actor Spall is also great as the loyal and goodhearted friend who attempts to keep his out-of-control mate in check.

Another thing worth mentioning about this film is that it is beautifully edited, and does not skip a beat. And the great job by the actors is supported by an excellently written screenplay by Peter Morgan.

All in all, “The Damned United” was a damned good time, and I would definitely recommend it.

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