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.

Director:

Lindsay Anderson

Writers:

David Storey (based on the novel by), David Storey (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Harris ... Frank Machin
Rachel Roberts ... Mrs. Hammond
Alan Badel ... Weaver
William Hartnell ... Johnson
Colin Blakely ... Maurice Braithwaite
Vanda Godsell ... Mrs. Weaver
Anne Cunningham Anne Cunningham ... Judith
Jack Watson ... Len Miller
Arthur Lowe ... Slomer
Harry Markham Harry Markham ... Wade
George Sewell ... Jeff
Leonard Rossiter ... Phillips
Katherine Parr Katherine Parr ... Mrs. Farrer (as Katharine Parr)
Bernadette Benson Bernadette Benson ... Lynda
Andrew Nolan Andrew Nolan ... Ian
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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}

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Taglines:

Never before has the screen exploded with such raw emotions!

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film features the second - and last - film score to be composed by Roberto Gerhard. Lindsay Anderson cut out a great deal of Gerhard's music against his wishes, enraging the composer, who refused to work in film music ever again. See more »

Goofs

The sash window in Mrs Hammond's living room, as seen from the inside (presumably a studio set), has been fitted back-to-front and upside-down. The curved "horns" (moulded wood) are at the top of the lower, inside (sliding) pane, when they should be at the bottom of the upper, outside (fixed) pane. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Arthur Lowe: A Life on the Box (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Down to earth and brilliant
11 March 2005 | by kevin-wakelamSee all my reviews

Having seen the film several times I can relate to the lifestyle of the characters, I was a child in the sixties and my memories of life back then are reflected in the atmostsphere that the film generates.

I have read various comments about the film looking dated, and yes it does, but it is a true reflection on life at that time.

It is also a great historical piece as many of the towns and sports arena's used in the film have changed drastically or no longer exist.

I particularly remember the MECCA social club in Wakefield and the various coffee bars that surrounded it, Belle Vue where the Rugby League scenes were shot has stayed remarkably unchanged over the years and I still enjoy the atmostsphere as I watch my favourite team Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

To see the massive cooling towers in the background stirs memories of being there on a Saturday afternoon with my late Father Norman.

I have a real soft spot for this film and I'm sorry that I have concentrated on my memories rather than the films content.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

This Sporting Life See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$813
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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