IMDb > This Sporting Life (1963)
This Sporting Life
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This Sporting Life (1963) More at IMDbPro »

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This Sporting Life -- One of the finest British films ever made, this benchmark of "kitchen-sink realism" follows the self-defeating professional and romantic pursuits of a miner turned rugby player eking out an existence in drab Yorkshire.
This Sporting Life -- Trailer: Richard Harris as the wild Frank Manchin


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7.9/10   4,315 votes »
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Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
David Storey (based on the novel by)
David Storey (screenplay)
View company contact information for This Sporting Life on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
January 1963 (UK) See more »
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst beings to materialize as aggression and brutality, and he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Insolently sublime masterpiece See more (65 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Richard Harris ... Frank Machin

Rachel Roberts ... Mrs. Margaret Hammond
Alan Badel ... Gerald Weaver

William Hartnell ... 'Dad' Johnson
Colin Blakely ... Maurice Braithwaite
Vanda Godsell ... Mrs. Anne Weaver
Anne Cunningham ... Judith
Jack Watson ... Len Miller

Arthur Lowe ... Charles Slomer
Harry Markham ... Wade
George Sewell ... Jeff

Leonard Rossiter ... Phillips, Sports writer
Katherine Parr ... Mrs. Farrer
Bernadette Benson ... Lynda Hammond
Andrew Nolan ... Ian Hammond
Peter Duguid ... Doctor
Wallas Eaton ... Waiter
Anthony Woodruff ... Tom, Headwaiter
Michael Logan ... Riley
Murray Evans ... Hooker
Tom Clegg ... Gower
Ken Traill ... Trainer
Frank Windsor ... Dentist
John Gill ... Cameron
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Edward Fox ... Restaurant Barman (uncredited)

Glenda Jackson ... Singer At Party (uncredited)
Roy Lansford ... Man in Pub (uncredited)
Graham Roberts ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Anton Rodgers ... Restaurant Customer (uncredited)
David Storey ... Rugby Player (uncredited)

Directed by
Lindsay Anderson 
Writing credits
David Storey (based on the novel by)

David Storey (screenplay)

Produced by
Leslie Parkyn .... co-executive producer
Karel Reisz .... producer
Julian Wintle .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Roberto Gerhard 
Cinematography by
Denys N. Coop (photographed by) (as Denys Coop)
Film Editing by
Peter Taylor 
Art Direction by
Alan Withy 
Costume Design by
Sophie Devine (dresses)
Makeup Department
Ivy Emmerton .... hairdresser
Bob Lawrance .... makeup artist (as Bob Lawrence)
Production Management
Albert Fennell .... in charge of production
Geoffrey Haine .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ted Sturgis .... assistant director
Ken Softley .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Claude Watson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Peter Lamont .... set dresser
Ernie Quick .... propertyman
E.W. Brister .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Eric Saw .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Chris Greenham .... sound editor
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound recordist
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist
Ron Butcher .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Ken Cameron .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Trevor Carless .... boom assistant (uncredited)
Tony Cripps .... boom operator (uncredited)
Frank Sloggett .... sound assistant (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Charles Staffell .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
John Harris .... camera operator
Neil Binney .... focus puller (uncredited)
Christopher Neame .... camera assistant (uncredited)
George Courtney Ward .... still photographer (uncredited)
Casting Department
Miriam Brickman .... casting
Editorial Department
Tom Priestley .... assistant editor
Philip Baker .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Jacques-Louis Monod .... musical director
Gary Hughes .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Pamela Mann .... continuity
Malcolm Taylor .... dialogue coach
Bob Herrington .... publicist (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
134 min | West Germany:122 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | UK:12A (2009) | UK:AA (re-rating) (1970) | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-MA (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Bernadette Benson, the eight-year-old actress who played Lynda Hammond, achieved newspaper publicity in her quest to be exempted from the film's X certificate which prohibited children under the age of 16 from seeing it. She said that it was perverse that she was able to see the rushes of the film as it was being made but was too young to be allowed to see the finished film at the cinema.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Here In My HeartSee more »


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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Insolently sublime masterpiece, 4 September 2006
Author: jharna

This title mostly stays obscurely distant to the wider audience, which is utterly sad, almost as the movie itself. "This sporting life" marks era of the British New Wave, but it is somehow off the French mellow tracks. Frank Machin is rude and robust, just like the circumstances of time and place. After swift uplift of cinematic themes, which almost totally set WWII into background, 1960ies made Brits turn the mirror inwards. Medium of film was open for investigating and reflecting what hides in one's inner and where could it lead. In circle, surely, as well-tried French recipe of the era already settled the never-ending mental pattern.

This is basically a love story, a tale of two fairly different people joined in their solitude. They glide through scenery of urban and mental squalor, wonderfully photographed by Denys N. Coop. Shades of the mind are so aptly blended with interiors and every feeling convincingly underlined by many (but never one too many) close-ups. By my account, the only moment which was superfluous happened in the fancy restaurant: Frank taking Margaret and her new fur-coat to dinner to a place that was never intended for them. Frank's rawness in the situation was a bit over the top, movie could have well done without it, or at least with having it toned down.

Nevertheless, poetry is inevitable. Lindsay Anderson managed to draw tenuity out of time, places and persons who struggled against each other. Finale offered the only possible solution: For those who stayed – "after all…tomorrow is another day."

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for This Sporting Life (1963)
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SPOILER ALERT: Mrs. Margaret Hammond's children Noir-It-All
Edward Fox bit role? jeremy3
The spider grahamchris
Is it just me.... Jasonroides84
Two silly premises ianprl
How about the fact that this movie is just WAYYY TOO LONG??? BG43214
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