The Damned United

A movie about Brian Clough's 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United

The Damned United

The Damned United is a March 2009(UK) released sports drama film, directed by Tom Hooper and adapted by Peter Morgan from David Peace's novel ''The Damned Utd''. I dont know you watched the movie or not, but i watched. And i can say that, if you like football, you should watch this movie. Is this movie cool like other football movies like Green Street Holigans or Goal series? Well, i think this movie is better than both two, because it is based on a true story (Green Street Holigans also based on true events but The Damned United is much more about football).
The movie is about Brian Clough's 44-day adventure as coach of Leeds United.
In early 70's in England, Leeds United was dominating the leauge, they were the most successful club of the country, and the leauge champions. Their manager was Don Reive. At those times, Brian Clough was the manager of Derby Country, struggling near the bottom of the Second Divison.

Leeds players and Clough
   Leeds players didnt like Clough much

In 1967 these two teams match in FA Cup. Brian Clough assumes Dan Revie to be a similar man to himself, owing to the fact that they grew up in the same part of Middlesbrough. However on match day, Revie either ignores Clough or fails to make him out in the crowd upon entering Derby's Baseball Ground stadium. The match proves to be a tough affair, and despite their best efforts Derby lose 2–0 to Leeds. Brian Clough initially blames the brutality of the Leeds players, but he and his assistant manager Peter Taylor recognise that their side simply aren't good enough on a technical level and so remedy the problem by signing veteran Dave Mackay, along with several other young players. The club's frugal chairman, Sam Longson is extremely anxious about the investment and more so the fact that  Clough didn't bother to consult him about signing Mackay. However, Derby win the Second Division title in 1969, and the following season once more face up to Leeds, the defending First Division champions... and promptly lose 5–0.

After this match, Clough targets himself to get in First Division so that they can have a match with Leeds United and take revenge, and be more successful than Dan Reive. Clough gets what he wants, Derby becomes the Second Division champion, promote to First Division and beat Leeds United 2-1 in a league match. Only a few years later, Clough makes his team First Division champions too, by the help of his luck.

Michael Sheen as Brian Clough

Meanwhile, Clough starts to have problems with the chairman of Derby Country, Sam Longson. Longson starts to give directions to Clough about how to manage the team, and despises Clough telling that chairmen are more important than managers in the world of football. After this situtation Clough resignes from his job with his best friend and assistant manager Peter Taylor.

Subsequently, Clough and Taylor are offered jobs as manager and assistant respectively of Brighton & Hove Albion, and they agree to take the jobs after having a holiday in Majorca which Brighton's chairman pays for.
During their holiday England fails to qualify for the 1974 World Cup, England manager Alf Ramsley gets sacked and replaced by Leeds United's successful manager Don Revie. So Leeds board offers Clough to take the place of Don Revie's place at Leeds United, and Clough accepts the job. But Taylor on the other hand, prefers the prospect of Brighton, knowing that whatever Clough achieves at Leeds it will still be with Revie's team, and after a fierce argument the two go their separate ways, with Clough taking over at Leeds and Taylor becoming Brighton manager.

Dan Reive signing for England
     Colm Meaney as Dan Reive

Without his long time assistant, what can make Clough at Leeds? Starting from his first day of his new job, Clough has problems. Leeds players dont respect him, and dont listen him on the pitch. And Leeds makes a terrible start in the leauge...This movie, is about these 44 days that Clough spent in Leeds, of course with flasbacks to his days with Taylor and Derby Country.

Clough working for Leeds

I'm not sure all the events in this movie is real or not, first of all it is true that Clough had very successful seasons with Derby United, became Second Division champion and promoted to First Division, became leauge champions and played in European Cup but lost 3-1 to Juventus in semi finals. But i dont think it is totally true that he had personal problems with Dan Reive, and i am not sure he was really jelous of Reive or that Leeds players didnt respect and listen him.

Brian Clough 1935-2004For example Clough's widow, Barbara Clough, who was already an outspoken critic of Peace's book, expressed disappointment that the film was being made. On the implication that it would be similar to the book, she said "It's going to be pretty dire". Nigel Clough (son of Brian Clough), says he has spoken to people within football who have told him the film bears no resemblance to what actually happened. Also The publishers of the novel were successfully sued by Irish midfielder Johnny Giles (played for Leeds in 60s and 70s) wrote, "Many of the things Peace talks about in the book never happened and for that reason, I felt it necessary to go to the Courts to establish that this was fiction based on fact and nothing more."


The Damned United Trailer

If you think of watching this movie, or if you want to have an idea if the movie really deserves to be criticized by Clough family and former Leeds players or not, i suggest you to read the short biography of Brian Clough here---> http://helloteenpedia.blogspot.com/2009/09/brian-clough.html

And i also suggest you to watch the movie too! 7.8 user ratings from IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1226271/), 8.5 rating from me!


Michael Sheen as Brian Clough, former Derby County manager and new manager of Leeds.

Timothy Spall as Peter Taylor, Clough's assistant at Hartlepool, Derby and Brighton.

Maurice Roëves as Jimmy Gordon, Clough's assistant at Leeds.

Elizabeth Carling as Barbara Clough, Clough's wife.

- Players -

Danny Tomlinson as David Harvey

Lesley Maylett as Paul Reaney

Chris Moore as Paul Madeley

John Savage as Gordon McQueen

Mark Cameron as Norman Hunter

Tom Ramsbottom as Trevor Cherry

Matthew Storton as Peter Lorimer

Peter McDonald as Johnny Giles
Stephen Graham as Billy Bremner, Leeds captain

Bill Bradshaw as Terry Yorath

Stuart Gray as Eddie Gray

Alex Harker as Allan Clarke

Craig Williams as Joe Jordan

Joe Dempsie as Duncan McKenzie

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