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This Sporting Life (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sport | January 1963 (UK)
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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>

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Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

January 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Lockender Lorbeer  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of filming, Arthur Lowe and Anne Cunningham were appearing together in Coronation Street. 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.
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Soundtracks

For He's A Jolly Good Fellow
Sung by the guests at the Christmas party
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User Reviews

 
A bleak and truthful portrait of Yorkshire in the early sixties
14 June 2000 | by (Shropshire, England) – See all my reviews

Richard Harris and Lindsay Anderson spent sometime in the West Yorkshire coalfield prior to the filming of This Sporting Life. To call the film gritty and realistic is a truism measured up by the nature of the stark narrative. Harris is profoundly convincing as the miner turned Rugby League player who pursues the arctic charms of his widowed landlady played with sublime restraint by the late Rachel Roberts. For those of us familiar with the Northern man, Wakefield and with Rugby league the stories verisimilitude is almost painful. Watch particularly Harris's trial match (during which the actor broke his leg), his 'singing debut' in the nightclub and the interlude at Kirkstall Abbey. Note too the participation of Wakefield Trinity stars Ken Rollin and Neil Fox, men who were local legends in the 1960's.


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