BBC iPlayer: The Damned United (2009)

on Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Words: Saam Das

'The Damned United' (2009)

Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Michael Sheen, Colm Meaney, Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent

Michael Sheen in The Damned United
SYNOPSIS:"The story of Brian Clough's 44-day stint as manager of Leeds United Football Club in 1974. When Don Revie quit Leeds to become the England boss, the outspoken Brian Clough took charge. Determined to impose his own style upon Revie's tough tackling team, Clough soon alienated his players and the board. Based on the book by David Peace." (

Football, again? Yes, the 2010 FIFA World Cup might be over but football's always in the limelight. And Brian Clough revelled in that limelight. Arguably the greatest football manager ever, 'The Damned United' examines one of the most trying periods of his managing career.

David Peace's book proved controversial due to its overly negative portrayals of many footballers from that time period, and supposedly of Clough himself. And many of those controversies and inaccuracies remain. Yet one thing we can be certain of is Clough's penchant for the controversial. Tom Hooper manages to capture this in his feature by way of a typically strong performance from Michael Sheen, who has proven adept at playing high profile British characters.

Speaking of characters, this is very much a character drama, particularly between Clough and his right hand man, Peter Taylor (played by Timothy Spall). So even for those who find football unappealing, it is worth watching.

[WATCH] until 10:34pm, Sunday 25th July 2010 (UK users only).

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