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The Damned United 

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Before the rise of British soccer hooliganism, there was Leeds United. During its sucessful reign in the late 1960s and early '70s, the players were as belligerent and snotty as their fans. The club won the league championship in 1974, earning revered coach Don Revie a promotion to coach the national team, which needed an overhaul in the wake of failing to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. Managing Leeds fell to the hands of Brian Clough, a colorful and talented coach who had publicly criticized the team's dirty style of play. The Damned United follows the tumultuous period in British football and the battle of wills between Clough and Leeds' tradition. The film focuses not on the game history so much as the flamboyant personalities of working-class Brits who ascended to the near royal ranks of prominent coaches. — Will Coviello

The Damned United (R)

Directed by Tom Hooper

Opens Friday, Dec. 11

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