The Damned United at The Dukes Cinema

Here’s what it says on The Dukes website about one of this years’ more eagerly awaited films:

Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan’s confrontational and darkly humorous story of Brian Clough’s doomed 44-day tenure as manager of the reigning champions of English football in the 1970s, Leeds United. Previously managed by his bitter rival Don Revie, and on the back of their most successful period ever, Leeds had an aggressive and cynical style of football. This was an abomination 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.

Not a word mentioning the actual author of The Damned United David Peace whose ‘confrontational and darkly humorous story’ this actually is.  Nor that this is a film about far more than Brian Clough or Leeds United or Football, in the same way that Peace’s Red Riding Quartet transcends its crime plot to incorporate so much more about its time.

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8 Responses

  1. […] The Damned United at The Dukes Cinema « The Lunecy Review […]

  2. Interesting one this. I’m a Michael Sheen fan and think he’s one of our greatest actors. A method actor to the core, he reminds me of Bobby De Niro in some of his earlier movies. The way he immerses himself so completly in the characters he plays. Especially his brilliant performance as Kenneth Williams in Fantabulosa! I’m wanting to see Frost/Nixon for sure but am not so sure about The Damned United. I don’t watch football (or any sports for that matter) so from that perspective it wouldn’t really have a lot to offer me I don’t think.

    However as a human story it could be quite interesting. As for David Peace’s novel, I had heard Clough’s family and friends were somewhat angry about the novel as they had felt that Peace had on the whole presented an overly negative view of Clough. So if the film is largely based on the book then I’m surprised that The Clough family sanctioned it. Although I’ve heard the film is less dark and more humorous.

    Nevertheless, probably one for DVD.

    • But what about the actual author being ignored in favour of the screenwriter? IS that fair?

  3. Maybe an acknowledgment of the author wouldn’t be a bad thing. However as I said before, maybe the director was afraid of angering the Clough family by acknowledging such a contentious book?

    I think even Peace has expressed some regret for such a negative portrayal of Clough and his associates.

  4. Not the director, i meant the author of the Dukes piece itself pardon me.

    Could be that they haven’t done the research properly and didn’t know said book existed? All I know is that the book itself is very controversial and caused a great deal of upset hence maybe a reluctance to acknowledge its’ existence for fear of repercussions?

    • The book was controversial, th Clough family weren’t happy, and nor was Johnny Giles, though it doesn’t portray either any different to how they were already widely reknowned. Similarly Nigel Clough has stated he won’t see the film for the same reasons he was unhappy with the book. So the film already has the same reputation as the book in that respect.

      It may be bad research by The Dukes, or they have fallen into the film industry habit of ignoring the writer as insignificant. Either way it is a disgrace.

      • Mind you the screenwriters usually get a bit of a raw deal as well.
        It tends to be the actors and directors who tend to scoop most of th4e
        the critical acclaim and financial rewards. Us writers are the ‘starving artist’ types.

        So yeah I see where your coming from…

  5. Haven’t seen the film or read the book. But I have seen this:
    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-&-entertainment/michael-sheen-to-play-red-rum-200901291544/

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