7.8/10
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This Sporting Life (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sport | 22 May 1963 (France)
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:
...
...
...
Gerald Weaver
...
'Dad' Johnson
...
Maurice Braithwaite
Vanda Godsell ...
Anne Cunningham ...
Judith
...
Len Miller
...
Harry Markham ...
Wade
...
Jeff
...
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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1963 (France)  »

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

Stanley Baker was interested in playing Frank Machin when the novel was published in 1960. See more »

Goofs

In reality it would have taken years of training for Frank Machin to become a professional rugby player. See more »

Quotes

Phillips, Sports writer: It's only a game, old sport. It's all a game.
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Connections

Spoofed in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Stark and uncompromising
9 June 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Set in the working class environs of Northern England (Yorkshire), this is a stark and uncompromising film. Richard Harris gives a performance of a lifetime as a rugby player who, both on and off the field of play, seems able to express himself only through violence.

Lindsay Anderson directs wonderfully, insisting on gritty realism, and stripping everything of any hint of cinematic glamour. Unlike the French "nouvelle vague", Anderson wasn't interested in technique for its own sake: he was more concerned with actual substance. Here, he explores the depths of the characters, and their relationships with each other; and, in particular, their emotions, which are volcanic. Never have such naked passions been portrayed on screen with such power. One feels somewhat drained by the end.

Something was happening in the British cinema in the 60s. Where did it all disappear?


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