This Sporting Life (1963)
Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 17
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 0
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Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 1,811
Adapted by David Storey from his own novel, This Sporting Life stars Richard Harris as Frank, an athletic coal miner who aspires to the greener pastures of professional rugby. Soon establishing himself as one of the most brutal and arrogant players in the business, Frank begins to amass a fortune. He also falls in love with his landlady, Mrs. Hammond (Rachel Roberts), who initially resists his advances. When she finally gives in, their relationship hinges on sex alone, as Frank practically begs
Jul 16, 1963 Limited
Jan 22, 2008
Lois Sutcliffe Smith
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Lindsay Anderson, making his debut as a feature director, brings the keen, observant eye of a documentary man to many vivid episodes without sacrificing the story line.
A reminder that something really was stirring in those days of the British New Wave before it frittered itself away.
It's impossible not to appreciate the remarkable performances (both Harris and Roberts were nominated for Oscars) or the realistic rugby scenes that earned Harris a broken leg.
Leagues above the sanitized picture of organized professional athletics exemplified by '42,' 'This Sporting Life' wallows in the mud of the moral dirt that surrounds and runs the whole.
This Sporting Life exhibits astonishing vigour and a fierce engagement with life, but the bitter poetry is all its own.
I can't think of a sport movie that is better photographed. The black and white cinematography is gorgeously stark, the perfect medium for this bleakly unforgiving tale.
This Sporting Life shrewdly anticipates modern Britain: a dour, yet thrilling and exhilarating film.
I'm tempted to see it as one of the strongest films of that period, every frame of which pulsates with drama, class confusion and erotic force.
From its virtuoso opening shot of a rugby scrum -- from the bottom, looking up -- to its final emotionally draining moments, This Sporting Life is a captivating, visceral film experience.
This Sporting Life is a quintessential entrant in Britain's kitchen-sink realism of the late-'50s and '60s.
It's about rugby league, beer, grit and tough lads, but it's also a profound commment on relationships loaded with symbolism and rich in emotion.
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