The Damned United - Movie Synopsis & Plot
Set in 1960's and 1970's England, "The Damned United" tells the confrontational and darkly humorous story of Brian Clough's doomed 44 day tenure as manager of the reigning champions of English football Leeds United.
Previously managed by his bitter rival Don Revie, and on the back of their most successful period ever as a football club, Leeds was perceived by many to represent a new aggressive and cynical style of football - an anathema to the principled yet flamboyant Brian Clough, who had achieved astonishing success as manager of Hartlepool and Derby County building teams in his own vision with trusty lieutenant Peter Taylor. Taking the Leeds job without Taylor by his side, with a changing room full of what in his mind were still Don's boys, would lead to an unheralded examination of Clough's belligerence and brilliance over 44 days. This is that story. The story of The Damned United.
"The Damned United" stars Michael Sheen ("The Deal," "The Queen," "Frost/Nixon") as the legendary, opinionated football manager Brian Clough with Timothy Spall ("Secrets and Lies," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Sweeney Todd") as his right hand man, only friend, and crutch Peter Taylor. Colm Meaney ("Layer Cake," "Intermission," "The Commitments") plays Clough's nemesis Don Revie, Jim Broadbent plays Sam Longson, Derby Chairman. Stephen Graham plays Leeds Captain Billy Bremner and Peter McDonald his midfield partner Johnny Giles.
In the latest British historical film from the Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon), The Damned United is a sports movie not really about sports, but about the crazy personalities that populate them. Certainly on a much smaller scale than Morgan's previous two films, the story here is probably one not known to most outside of Great Britain, or to most non-soccer fans (i.e. the majority of Americans). Despite this, the film is in many ways more satisfying to watch than Frost/Nixon or The Queen.
Read our Damned United, The movie review »