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Foreign Film - England - The Damned United

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The Damned United
Michael Sheen, Colm Meaney, Timothy Spall
Directed by Tom Hooper
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2010
97 minutes

Familiarity with English football probably helps to enjoy The Damned United DVD but it is not really necessary. This is a movie about when major egos clash and what can happen and what not to do when you take over the job of a very successful and beloved father-figure boss you have a deep hatred for. The Damned United takes a bit of getting used to at first but it is an excellent movie.

Michael Sheen is very good as Brian Clough, the new coach of the Leeds United FC. The very first thing he does, even before meeting team owners is to go on TV and dump on the championships his predecessor (Colm Meaney) has won and how he has won them. This does not sit well with the owners and especially the players he has been hired to coach.

The Damned United then flashes back to the first encounter between Clough, then manager of Derby County a division 2 team, and Revie whose Leeds United was a top division 1 team. The flashback is where you get to like this arrogant and outspoken man and also seethe seeds of his deep hatred for Revie (Meaney) and his team. This is a superb bit of show-don’t-tell movie making

Director Tom Hooper uses a lot of shorthand scenes to keep The Damned United moving but easy to understand at the same time. He blends historical footage with his own movie seamlessly.

Another interesting aspect of this football DVD is the relationship between Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor (Timothy Spall).

Special features on The Damned United DVD and Blu-ray are a commentary track (also available as subtitles), deleted scenes, Cloughisms, a Making Of, Creating Clough, Remembering Brian, and The Changing Game: Football in the Seventies.

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