Go see! Go see!
A perfect 1970's homo-erotic love story between pure arrogance and
footballing brain, beautifully and humorously realised over fat, fag
smoking (that's cigarettes for our US cousins) footballers! Superb. It
is the only football film I have ever seen that smelled right for the
1970's. The game was male ego out of control and the film allows
fiction to just get on with it and not worry about upsetting the
footballing equivalent of trainspotters or anyone still living who
doesn't like being portrayed as a git! An absolute blessing to have a
British film that doesn't prance around the subject like a Guardian
journalist. Unashamed sweat, mud, rain and tears. Could have watched
another hour of it at least..
A great drama about a great manager
This is a film about football, or soccer if you prefer, but I'll stick
to football because that's what it's called in most parts of the world.
It's about football in the late 1960's, early 1970's and one man
involved in the game in particular. The man is Brian Clough, sadly no
longer with us, and the film tells of how he came to manage one of the
biggest teams in England at the time, Leeds United.
The story begins with Brian managing Derby County who are struggling at
the bottom of the second division. He is ably assisted by his friend
Peter Taylor. The biggest and most successful team at the time are
Leeds United, managed by Don Revie, who Brian admires greatly. Leeds
have a very robust style of play that Brian does not like, he believes
players with talent don't need to use these tactics (and I agree with
him). When Derby draws Leeds in the cup, Brian is excited to meet the
man he admires, but when Revie snubs him he vows revenge. Brian and
Peter then go all out to make Derby a successful team. They win
promotion and eventually win the championship. Brian now finds he has
problems with his chairman, Sam Longson, who believes Clough thinks
he's bigger than the club. It all culminates in Brian and Peter both
getting the sack. As luck would have it, at the same time Don Revie
leaves the Leeds job to take over as manager of England. Brian is asked
by the Leeds board to come in as the new manager. The film goes on to
tell of his 44 days in charge and how it affected him and those around
As a football fan I loved this film, it tells of events that happened
during my lifetime and events that, although I was quite young, I still
remember quite well. As a movie fan, I also liked this film very much;
it's very well made, inter-cutting archive footage with an excellent
drama. A tremendous performance from Michael Sheen as Brian Clough, he
really looked and sounded just like the man. Great performances also
from Timothy Spall as Peter Taylor and Jim Broadbent as Sam Longson.
Honourable mentions also go to Colm Meaney as Don Revie and Mark
Bazeley as Austin Mitchell.
I guess if you're not a football fan then it might be one to avoid, but
it is a really good drama. Personally, I loved it, although I don't
support any of the teams the film is about, I can remember many of the
events portrayed. Over all, an enthralling drama, a true story, set
against the world of football in the late 60's, early 70's. If you're a
football (or soccer) fan, most definitely recommended, if not, then
it's still a very decent drama (still recommended).
My score: 8.3/10.