One of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the year is scheduled to debut on March 27 when “The Damned United,” the story of Brian Clough’s 44-day reign as manager at Leeds United, hits the silver screen in the United Kingdom. Brian Clough was widely considered to be the greatest English manager never to manage the England team.

This promises not to be just another football movie. Based on the novel by acclaimed English author David Peace, “The Damned United” stars Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney and Jim Broadbent, and is written by screenwriter Peter Morgan who has been responsible for several major movie hits such as “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon.”

“The Damned United” tells the story of how one of the most charismatic football managers in England went from managing Derby County and Brighton went on to replace Don Revie as the gaffer at Leeds United. Dirty Leeds, as they were best known for, at that time. The irony is that Clough hated everything about Leeds United and hated the way that the club had achieved its success through dirty play. The movie looks inside the mind of Brian Clough and deals with the psyche and demons that Clough battled for his 44 day reign at the Elland Road club.

The worldwide distribution rights for “The Damned United” are being handled by Sony Pictures. No news yet on whether the film will be shown in other countries, but if “Frost/Nixon” does well in the 2009 Academy Awards in late February, that would increase the likelihood that the movie would also be shown outside the UK.

While you’re waiting for the movie to be released, be sure to read the fantastic The Damned Utd

book if you haven’t done so already.