The Independent Film Forum: 8. The Damned United

Our new film forum is your chance to pass judgement on a recent release. Here's a selection of your views on the footballing tale starring Michael Sheen as Brian Clough
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Totaldrwhofreak: I thought it was amazing. Laugh-out-loud funny at some points and incredibly touching at others. Michael Sheen gives a stunning performance as Clough and I think it is a must-see film for both football fans and non-football fans alike. But I think it's important that it's not taken as complete fact – it's a factional film, not a documentary.

Amitypd: The problem with the film is that it's a sanitized adaptation which ultimately should have been a straight Clough biopic. David Peace's book is a fevered imagining of what David Peace thinks was going through Brian Clough's mind, set against his signature portrayal of Yorkshire as being akin to hell on earth – where there's something essentially evil in the very landscape. It's not supposed to be taken 100 per cent literally. It's art! And anyway, anything that pisses off Johnny Giles can't be all bad...

M Foster: I thoroughly enjoyed it, apart from one phrase which doesn't belong. Seeing his opening gambit to the Leeds players ('medals in the bin' etc) described as 'yah boo, sucks' would have Old Big 'Ead spinning in his grave. This grotesque phrase isn't in the dictionary of anyone who went to a football game in the Seventies. Even today, it would probably only be heard at Arsenal and Twickenham.

Nelly: 'The Damned United' certainly paints a very raw and uncomfortable image of Brian Clough, especially for those close to him. He demands more respect than he gets in 'The Damned United'. Now David Peace would tell us that 'The Damned United' is simply a version of the truth, but now the book is a film, it really is in the public domain and the public may start to think that the Clough portrayed by Mr Sheen is the real Clough, and that is what is probably vexing the Clough family. I am a massive fan of David Peace's; I just think the film has come a bit too soon.