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The Damned United [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the Academy Award-nominated writer of The Queen and Frost/Nixon, The Damned United is based on the incredible true story of Brian Clough, one of England’s greatest soccer managers and his 44 controversial days at the helm of reigning champs Leeds United. Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Twilight Saga: New Moon) triumphs as Clough starring alongside a winning ensemble cast that includes Timothy Spall (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Colm Meaney (Layer Cake) and Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). This inspiring and humorous sports drama is about the power of friendship in the face of adversity and the stubborn will of one man to play by his own rules.


You don't have to like football (or soccer, as we call it in the U.S.) to enjoy The Damned United, because this sharp, funny movie isn't about sports any more than Citizen Kane is about running a newspaper. The Damned United is about ego--specifically, the large and driven ego of Brian Clough (Michael Sheen), the manager of a low-rung football team who, along with his assistant Peter Taylor (the always superb Timothy Spall, Secrets & Lies), brought his team to the top rank. At which point Clough self-destructed, even as he seemed to be given the keys to even greater heights: he was hired as the new manager of Leeds United, perhaps the strongest team in England, replacing his longtime rival Don Revie (Colm Meaney, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). The Damned United bounces back and forth in time, deftly laying out Clough's rise and fall, transforming a man who initially seems an unbearable, domineering jerk into someone you feel for deeply. After Frost/Nixon and The Queen, Sheen practically specializes in playing real people, but his performance here is utterly stellar, by turns brilliantly comic and subtly moving. The movie lets the relationship between Clough and Taylor unspool organically, until the love and anger between them starts to fray and collapse. This is a riveting and ultimately invigorating story, psychologically compelling and with more twists and turns than a crime thriller. Simply a great movie. --Bret Fetzer

Stills from The Damned United (Click for larger image)

Special Features

Commentary with Director Tom Hooper, Michael Sheen and Producer Andy Harries
Deleted Scenes with Optional Director's Commentary
Cloughisms with Optional Director's Commentary
Perfect Pitch: The Making Of The Damned United
Creating Clough: Michael Sheen Takes on 'Old Big 'Ead'
Remembering Brian
The Changing Game: Football in the Seventies

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Sheen, Colm Meaney
  • Directors: Tom Hooper
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 195 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002LE8MPI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,834 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Damned United [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A few months ago when I was overseas I heard about this movie, based on a true story about controversial soccer manager Brian Clough.

A few days ago, I went to see the movie, in San Francisco. I wondered what other people in the theater might think, if they would get it.

Sure enough, non soccer followers, who probably had no clue about Clough or Revie were sucked into the drama of the legendary confrontation, between these two rivals, which surpassed my expectations.

Someone more outpoken and more controversial than Brian Clough would be difficult to imagine, someone destined to become one of the most outstanding managers in the history of English soccer. Don Revie managed League Champions Leeds United. Clough managed Derby County previous years League Champions. Don Revie leaves Leeds to manage England, and Leeds made the bonehead decision to appoint the outspoken Clough in his place, outspoken because of his criticism and dislike of both Revie and the style of play under his management. This outspokenness led to clashes with the players whose successful, although rough style, had led them to incredible success.

As you get further into the movie, I suspect you will get drawn into its surprising twists and turns.

I was particularly impressed with Colm Meaney's portrayal of Revie. At one point I wondered if was actually Revie or Meaney I was watching, if it was actual footage of Revie. Michael Sheen who played Prime Minister Tony Blair in The Queen, nails Clough's distinct accent and outspokenness to a tee. Some of these Leeds players were greats, but the character development is very thin here.
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Format: DVD
The Damned United is not your typical sports film. It's much more than that. It's a study of contrasting personalities. Set during the 60s and 70s, the movie details the conflict of two very different managers of rival football (soccer) clubs i.e. Brian Clough and Don Revie. Don Revie (played by Colm Meaney) is the manager of the top ranked and virtually unbeatable, Leeds United. They are the Damned United of the title. Brian Clough (played by Michael Sheen) is the very outspoken, but extremely talented manager of a second tier team, Derby County.

At the start of the film, Revie has accepted the position of manager for Team England. That leaves the position of Leeds United manager open and the job is offered to Brian Clough. The film traces Brian Clough's rise as Derby County manager and fall as Leeds. Of course, he finds much more success after his tenure at Leeds United. But, that's another movie. Most Americans might ignore a film about English football thinking the subject boring. This is not the case. It's a marvelous character study and a fantastic movie. Michael Sheen's performance as Brian Clough is absolutely riveting. He's a very talented and versatile actor with roles as diverse as David Frost, Tony Blair and even Lucien from Underworld. I found myself fascinated by Clough's obsession with Revie. That obsession is what drives the plot. The adapted script is extremely well done by Peter Morgan. He also wrote the screenplays for Frost/Nixon and the Queen. It's an extremely literate script with sharp dialog.

One thing I will mention is that while Colm Meaney did not have as much screen time as Michael Sheen, he makes his presence felt as Revie. He's a marvelous character actor who has big shoes to fill with this role.
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Format: DVD
The Damned United looks and smells and sounds like a sports film, but it is ultimately a Shakespearean tragedy imbued with deep romance. That the tragic hero at its center, Brian Clough (Michael Sheen, brilliant), is wearing soccer shorts instead of a crown doesn't minimize the grandeur and pathos, indeed, the epic quality of his fall from grace. That the similarly epic love is between two middle-aged men likewise doesn't diminish it. This is one of the sweetest, most heart-breaking stories of hubris and, ultimately, the redemption of love we have seen in a long while. (Really!)

The setting is 1970s England, where - much as it remains today - soccer rivalries are fierce, and matches are cause for national celebration or mourning. In this heady world of winners and losers, of glamour and legends, a young, cocky manager, Brian Clough, is newly promoted to Leeds United. Leeds United was, in 1974, the top English team, and Clough has big shoes to fill - Leeds' former manager, the beloved Don Revie (Colm Meaney), has left to manage the national English team, and he leaves behind him a wake of trophies and a team of fiercely loyal players. Clough, odiously arrogant, swoops in on the very wrong foot, with complaints about Leeds' weather ("Wish I was still back in Majorca!" he exclaims obnoxiously) and radical rules - such as that former manager Revie's name must never be mentioned - quickly alienating the players, the owners, and the fans. Clough's tenure at Leeds, indeed, was a complete failure: under him, Leeds lost games, fell to the bottom of the division, and he was quickly sacked after 44 days.
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