I am an Anglophile, and I have studied a lot about England and its culture and habits. But, their sports (rugby, cricket, and football (or rather, soccer)) are a mystery to me. This film is about what WE (Americans) call soccer and what THEY (Brits) call football. OK – so I’ve heard of soccer and seen soccer played (well, in movies…) and I know that you cannot touch the ball with your hands – only with your feet. So, when I watched this film, I thought I was prepared for everything I would need to know. Well, I was wrong. The Damned United goes DEEP into the deep recesses of soccer to live and breath the sport. It is a good film. The story is strong. And, not having any idea about the inner-workings of British football did not hinder my enjoyment. The story is based on a real character in British football history…and a real period in their football’s legacy. Brian Clough works his way up the ranks from lowly football manager to a highly successful team manager, finally managing to lead what many in Britain in the 1970s would have considered the finest football team in the country…Leeds United. The problem is, though, that Leeds was always a rival of Brian’s former team…not exactly endearing the Leeds players to him. Can he win them over? Can he gain their trust? I’m assuming most of the population in the UK knew the answers to these questions well before they watched the film. I, on the other hand, did not. So I enjoyed thoroughly finding out what was going to happen next. Part drama, part thriller, all sports film, The Damned United is quite an entertaining flick, whether you’re British, American, a soccer fan, or just enjoy a good movie!
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