This Sporting Life

1963

Action / Drama / Sport

22
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 5025

Synopsis


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November 06, 2014 at 01:01 PM

Cast

Richard Harris as Frank Machin
Edward Fox as Restaurant Barman
William Hartnell as 'Dad' Johnson
Glenda Jackson as Singer At Party
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
925.33 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 14 min
P/S 1 / 8
1.95 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 14 min
P/S 0 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by treywillwest 8 / 10

nope

Searing character study embodied by Richard Harris.

This figure, awful and heart-rendering, terrifying and empathetic, seems an inspiration for many famously conflicted motion-picture protagonists: Robert De Niro's portrayals of violent egomaniacs in Scorsese's films, the socially-abandoned intellectual in Mike Leigh's Naked, and the troubleingly touching psycho-killer from TV's Dexter.

These are all depictions of people who are more sensitive than most others, yet who don't know how to feel at all.

Reviewed by kijii 8 / 10

Emotionally charged rugby movie

Very much in the 'angry young man' tradition, this film, based the novel and screenplay by David Storey, received two Oscar nominations in 1963: Richard Harris (for Best Actor) and Rachel Roberts (for Best Actress).

This Sporting Life ranks as No. 52 on the BFI's Top 100, while If... ranks as No. 12.

The angry young man in this film is Frank Machin (Richard Harris) who rooms in the home of a young widow, Margaret Hammond (Rachel Roberts), and her two small children. She lives in the poor working-class district of town in Northern England and is forced to let out a room to a boarder, Frank, when her husband is killed in a mining accident.

Margaret lives in a constant state of mourning over her late husband's death. She seems psychologically--and physically--trapped by his loss, as shown by the fact that she still polishes his boots every day and never wants to leave her home. She clings to the memory of her love for her late husband and only remembers their marriage as perfect. What she doesn't realize is that he had actually committed suicide by purposely setting up the mine 'accident' that killed him.

Frank feels trapped in his dead-end mining job and is anxious to better himself. To climb into a higher social status, he wants to try out for the local professional rugby team. When an old rugby scouting agent, 'Dad' Johnson (William Hartnell), notices his spirit, he arranges to get Frank a trial with the local team owners and managers. They are impressed by his skills and spirit and offer him a contract to play on the local team. Driving a hard bargain, Frank asks to be backed for 1,000 pounds. They accept and he is given the 1,000-pound check.

Flaunting his new money, he buys a fancy new car and nice presents for Margaret and her kids. However, in spite of local fame and fortune among the townspeople and in the newspaper, he fails to win over either Margaret or the other people in the district. Although he succeeds in rugby by advancing to upper-level teams, he is never able to win over Margaret. In the end, Margaret tells him that she feels like a 'kept woman' and that Frank makes her feel cheap. She asks him to leave and find a new place to live.

Reviewed by kinsmanivan 8 / 10

A good gritty northern England drama

Lindsay Anderson's first film, Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts put in two strong performances. The film successfully depicts the class snobbery between a working class rugby player and those who seek to use his talents for their own personal gratification.

Frustrated by the absence of anything truly meaningful in his life, the rugby player seeks some kind of meaning in his love for his widowed landlady, who has a young son and daughter. She tries to fight his advances, clinging on to her memories of her husband who either died or committed suicide in an accident for Weaver's Engineering firm. Finally she succumbs but is upset by her status as a kept woman, and the strain proves to be too much for her.

Similar in style to that other great classic, 'Saturday Night, Sunday Morning', This Sporting Life is very watchable, even just for seeing a young Richard Harris displaying his acting talent.

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