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Michael Sheen's The Damned United to première on BBC Two

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Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain | 14:10 UK time, Monday, 5 July 2010

The weekend of 17/18 July will see BBC Two broadcast the UK television première of The Damned United starring Michael Sheen.

Sheen stars in the film, adapted from David Peace's novel, as football manager Brian Clough during his tenure as the manager of Leeds in the mid 1970s.

The weekend marks the official launch of BBC Two as the new principal home for BBC Films, the award-winning feature filmmaking arm of the BBC.

Michael Sheen

Taking over from his hated rival Don Revie (Colm Meaney), Clough (Sheen) is determined to destroy the soul of his new club. Revie's Leeds were peerless, cynical, inspired. No one loathed them more than Clough. The feeling was mutual.

Clough is alone, haunted and sleepless throughout his brief and painful stint as manager of Leeds United. The compulsive, flawed and tragic figure he cuts takes on Shakespearian dimensions and presents us with a football manager's guide to heaven and hell.

The film, which also features British stars Jim Broadbent and Timothy Spall, is directed by Tom Hooper with the screenplay by Peter Morgan.

Other films premièring over the weekend include Eastern Promises and Is Anybody There?

John Crowley's Is Anybody There is set in 1980s England, with 10-year-old Edward (Bill Milner) growing up in an old people's home run by his parents. His only interest is a morbid obsession with ghosts, death and the afterlife until a new reluctant resident joins the home - Clarence, played by Michael Caine.

Meanwhile, Eastern Promises tells the story of a midwife (Naomi Watts) who sets out to discover the truth behind the murder of a young prostitute and finds herself snared in the deadly world of the Russian mafia. The film also stars Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel and Armin Mueller-Stahl.


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