The Damned United Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Brain Clough (played by Michael Sheen) is the manager of a second division football club (North American audiences would call it soccer), whose greatest ambition is not to beat another team but instead another man. Ever since his first meeting with Don Revie (played by Colm Meaney), the manager of Leeds United, Clough has harbored a hurt at being slighted by the celebrated head of England’s top club.
While the offense serves as great motivation to push his own Derby County players into the first division, his bitterness continuously sours their every success. Meanwhile, he hypocritically ignores his own underling, Peter Taylor (Timothy Spall), whose brilliant assistance accounts for at least half of Clough’s achievements.
Eventually Clough is offered a chance to manage Leeds United himself. Yet the score he hopes to settle with their former leader only makes the team more loyal to Revie. Nor does Clough’s past history of accusing the cursed United club of playing dirty improve his relationship with the athletes. Long used to injuring their opponents and bullying the referees to get their win (depictions of their brutal style accounts for much of the violent content in the film), the men turn their tactics on the new manager.
Based on a novel by David Peace, this look at the real life career of Brian Clough and his 44-day term as manager of Leeds United in 1974 may not be the sports movie most viewers are expecting. Focusing on the mental rivalry Clough engages in with Revie rather than the action on the field, the production becomes much more of a study on human pride.
I must confess, after watching Clough flaunt his arrogant attitude and bark out plentiful profanities (especially the sexual expletive) throughout the film, I had a hard time sympathizing with this grudge-holding underdog, even though he has a more sportsmen-like approach to the game. Yet I suspect the makers of this movie intended to create a slightly more flattering tribute to this football figure and his legacy to the sport.Directed by Tom Hooper. Starring Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release October 9, 2009. Updated February 13, 2012
The Damned United
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Damned United rated R? The Damned United is rated R by the MPAA for language.
The sexual expletive is pervasively used, along with other mild and moderate profanities. Many characters smoke and engage in drinking, often to the point of drunkenness. Sports violence is seen in both newsreels of real sporting events and game-play choreographed for the movie. Some blood is shown during the hard-hitting action. The bare buttocks of men in a shower room are briefly shown.
Page last updated February 13, 2012
More parents' guide for The Damned United after the break...
The Damned United Parents' Guide
How does Cloughs inability to shake off the offense of being ignored by someone as important as Don Revie impact his whole life? Do you feel Revie really intended to snub Clough? Does Revie appear to be affected by (or even aware of) Cloughs grudge? How are other people harmed by Cloughs obsession to prove himself equal or better than this man? In what ways can real or imaged slights impact our own lives?
The most recent home video release of The Damned United movie is February 23, 2010. Here are some details…
Release Date: 23 February 2010
The Damned Untied comes to DVD and Blu-ray with the following bonus materials:
- Commentary with Director Tom Hooper, Michael Sheen and Producer Andy Harries
- Cloughisms with Optional Director’s Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
- Featurettes: Perfect Pitch: The Making Of The Damned United, Creating Clough: Michael Sheen Takes on ‘Old Big ‘Ead’, Remembering Brian and The Changing Game: Football in the Seventies.
Related home video titles:
Michael Sheen has played other real life personalities, like British Prime Minister Tony Bennett in The Queen and journalist David Frost in Frost/Nixon. The screenplays for these two films, as well as The Damned United, were penned by writer Peter Morgan. Actor Timothy Spall takes on the role of another right hand man in the Harry Potter Franchise.