This Sporting Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

This Sporting Life Reviews

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½ January 10, 2016
Harris is magnificent and Rachel Roberts matches him when she is on the screen - but Harris is in every scene and we never tire of watching/studying him. Yes, he has the Brando attraction. He shows his full range here, even singing (with arms crossed across his chest the whole way!). And his shouting out for Margaret is a direct reminder of Brando's crying out for Stella in Streetcar. Half a star off for to me the lack of motivation for Machin's misogyny (maybe we are just meant to take it as part of some sportsmen's makeup) and the sometimes confusing time- jumps. But thank God we have Harris's performance to always watch. I wonder who won the Academy Award that year. Trivia: look for Edward Fox as bartender in non-speaking part 10 years before Day of the Jackal. Also, delightful bit of comedy between Minchin and Arthur Lowe (the future Mr Mainwaring of TVs Dads Army) about false teeth!
August 1, 2015
Great movie. Ostensibly a sport-drama but the main plot of the movie is as a relationship / human drama. Very thoughtful and emotional plot. Great, gritty direction by Lindsay Anderson. The use of black-and-white photography helped the feeling of desolation, melancholy and emotional emptiness.

Requires some patience though - starts slowly.

Good performances by Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts, both of whom received Oscar nominations for their efforts.
½ June 22, 2015
Tragic and sad. In a way it made me glad that I was not a professional sportsman. It also shows the struggles in England to make ends meet, socially and economically.
May 19, 2015
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.
½ January 4, 2015
Custa a crer que um jogador de rugby seja o sujeito perfeito para um drama tão avassalador quanto "This Sporting Life", mas não nos devemos esquecer de que não existe talvez um país que tenha uma relação tão visceral com o desporto como o Reino Unido. Lindsay Anderson reconhece o peso disso mesmo e - com base num livro de David Storey aqui adaptado por ele mesmo - estabelece o paralelo perfeito entre a vontade de vencer dentro de campo e a necessidade de equilibrar isso com uma vida emocional satisfatória. Richard Harris, no papel principal e com a intensidade de um Marlon Brando, depressa convence-nos de que ninguém mais representaria tão bem quanto ele essa fome de ser apreciado pelos outros. Richard Harris é um tremendo actor com o temperamento de um boi, da mesma maneira que "This Sporting Life" é um drama para guardar ao lado dos sagrados.
½ November 15, 2014
Richard Harris overstayed his welcome in my house - this would have been 4 stars if it lost 30 minutes or so, I reckon. But perhaps director Lindsay Anderson meant for Harris's performance to feel like an intrusion? After all, his modus operandi in the film is to push for what he wants, getting in everyone's face, whether he's wanted or not (and he manages to make himself unwanted). Of course, there's probably no blaming Frank Machin (the character's name) for wanting to use rugby to pull himself up out of the bleak British squalor (typical of producer Karel Reisz's own films) that he starts out in. But he's too blunt and overwrought to make a go of it, souring his chances and probably his life. Anderson would move on to other angry young men (notably in ...if).
½ November 1, 2014
The only thing I disliked about this movie was Richard Harris' eye make up. It bothered me during the entire movie.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2014
The brutality of Harris brings to mind Brando in Streetcar. He is all brute force and aggression who uses rugby sometimes unsuccessfully as the conduit through which negative emotions go, It is when another outlet is needed that the film becomes stark.
November 18, 2013
Um dos grandes representantes da New Wave Britânica, o filme conta com uma direção corajosa de Anderson e um trabalho simplesmente impecável de Harris. Clássico obrigatório!
½ October 23, 2013
Its first half is so much better than the second.
½ September 6, 2013
A film ahead of its time. Anderson does a great directing job and Harris gives a stellar performance. Comparisons to Brando are certainly warranted. Raging Bull was obviously influenced by this.
May 5, 2013
The film started promisingly enough but the story, pacing and over-the-top bluster of Richard Harris gets tedious. I loved the 'kitchen sink" realism and it's a wonderfully filmed crisp black and white visual experience but the story is too baggy for my liking and Harris doing his best brooding British Brando impersonation is very charismatic. His overacting though took me out of the picture more than once and the director, Lindsay Anderson, though seemingly in possession of a workable bag of tricks, faulters with pacing and mediocre overall direction.
½ May 5, 2013
There are kitchen sink dramas that are still capable of lifting your spirits and this is not one of them. Having such a miserable sour-faced old cow as Mrs Hammond as the leading love interest makes no sense. Any bloke in their right mind would scarper at the first possible opportunity leaving two fingers lingering in the air (and possibly something unpleasant on her freshly scrubbed kitchen floor). A thoroughly depressing experience.
December 26, 2012
This Sporting Life More 60?s gritty drama. This time with added sport!!! Set to a Rugby League (peanut huggers!) it tells the rise of a miner in wakefield making his way into a pro team.

Not to be put off, the sport was well shot (with the tech available) but carried the personal drama along nicely. Richard Harris in his first lead role was brilliant. He showed better acting than in the ?starry? heyday of the roles I know him from -Juggernaught (brilliant bomb disposal actioner), Wild Geese (Alan, Alan?.), Cassandra Crossing (black death on a train). Now I know he was dialling in his performances when you can see what he could do when he was really trying.

Nice to see Arthur Lowe again too!

8 on the BFI list to go?..
November 7, 2012
The depths of desperation in love.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
½ September 30, 2012
Richard Harris gives a very 'Brando-esque' performance in this UK classic. Simply fantastic from start to finish.
September 12, 2012
This is how it feels, when your best is just not good enough.
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