THE DAMNED UNITED
Pride Cometh Before a Fall
Release Date: October 09, 2009
Starring: Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall,
Colm Meaney, and Jim Broadbent
Genre: Sports Movie
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Tom Hooper
Executive Producer: Christine Langan, Hugo Heppell
and Peter Morgan
Producer: Andy Harries
Writer: Peter Morgan
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com; Email: Sony_Classics@spe.sony.com
The story goes back and forth in time to show Brian gaining his first national notoriety as the outspoken, flamboyant manager, or coach, of the Derby County Rams from 1969 to 1972 and his doomed 44-day tenure as manager of Leeds United, the reigning soccer champions in 1974. A public spat with the owner of the Derby team results in Brian falling out with his long-time friend and assistant manager, Peter Taylor. Brian gets his comeuppance when the players for Leeds resent his attitude against them and their former coach, Brian’s nemesis. This leads to the movie’s final redemptive, heartwarming reconciliation between Brian and Peter.
THE DAMNED UNITED is a thoroughly engaging sports biography of a soccer coach whose outspoken flamboyance has been compared to American sports figures Joe Namath and Muhammed Ali. All the performances are excellent, including Timothy Spall as the loyal assistant coach, Colm Meaney as Brian’s nemesis, and Jim Broadbent as the pragmatic but weak-willed owner. This movie belongs, however, to Michael Sheen, who creates an unforgettable character in Brian Clough.
Best of all, the movie has a strong moral, redemptive worldview showing that pride cometh before a fall, but that forgiveness can redeem a multitude of sins. The movie also extols the redemptive power of friendship. These positive qualities are undermined by plenty of strong foul language, including many “f” words and some other foul language.
THE DAMNED UNITED is a thoroughly engaging biography of a soccer coach whose outspoken nature has been compared to American sports figures Joe Namath and Muhammed Ali. All the performances are excellent, but the movie belongs to Michael Sheen who delivers a bravura performance. The movie has a strong moral, redemptive worldview showing the negative effects of pride and the redemptive power of forgiveness and friendship. These positive qualities are undermined, however, by too much foul language.