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This Sporting Life (1963)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  January 1963 (UK)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,591 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 43 critic

In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mrs. Margaret Hammond
Alan Badel ...
Gerald Weaver
...
'Dad' Johnson
Colin Blakely ...
Maurice Braithwaite
Vanda Godsell ...
Mrs. Anne Weaver
Anne Cunningham ...
Judith
Jack Watson ...
Len Miller
...
Charles Slomer
Harry Markham ...
Wade
George Sewell ...
Jeff
...
Phillips, Sports writer
Katherine Parr ...
Mrs. Farrer
Bernadette Benson ...
Lynda Hammond
Andrew Nolan ...
Ian Hammond
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Storyline

In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges with Mrs Hammond, whose husband was killed in an accident at Weaver's, but his impulsive and angry nature stop him from being able to reach her as he would like. He becomes increasingly frustrated with his situation, and this is not helped by the more straightforward enticements of Mrs Weaver. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Lockender Lorbeer  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Richard Harris is roughed up behind the scrum, rugby league legend Derek Turner, who was playing the character who punches him, was asked by the director to make the contact look real. So he did. He punched Harris for real and knocked him out completely, shooting for the day had to be stopped while Harris recovered. See more »

Quotes

Frank Machin: We don't have stars in this game, Mrs Weaver, that's soccer.
Mrs. Anne Weaver: What *do* you have?
Frank Machin: People like me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Timeshift: 1960: Year of the North (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Here In My Heart
Written by Pat Genaro, Lou Levinson and Bill Borrelli
Performed by Richard Harris
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User Reviews

 
One of the Best of the "Kitchen Sink" Films
10 January 2005 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

"This Sporting Life" is one of the most famous of the British "kitchen sink" dramas of the 1950s and 1960s ("kitchen sink" films were very gritty, social realist films which were very popular in Britain at one time).

Frank Machin (Richard Harris) is a brutal, young miner in a city in northern England. Hoping for fame and fortune, he becomes a successful Rugby League football player. He uses his fame and fortune, along with physical violence, to try to force his widowed landlady (Rachel Roberts) to fall for him.

Photographed in bleak black-and-white, the film's scenes of emotional and physical domestic violence are still shocking today. Also notable are the violent, stylishly-shot rugby matches.

The cast are brilliant without exception, especially Richard Harris who manages to invest even his totally unsympathetic character with some degree of humanity.


32 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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