This Sporting Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

This Sporting Life Reviews

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½ July 21, 2012
The ultimate British kitchen-sink drama everyone should see.
March 30, 2012
Seriously, am I the only one who got bored out of his mind slogging through this 2+h of melodrama?
March 18, 2012
another of the 'angry young men' series
January 21, 2012
Brutal fucking movie. If you like Martin Scorsese, you'll probably like this. It's very clear he saw and loved this. Richard Harris' performance is phenomenal. Just as good as DeNiro in Raging Bull, if not better. And I'd say this is probably the best (and darkest) sports movie ever.
January 14, 2012
the only slightly worthwhile movie that sports is a fairly major part of.
½ January 7, 2012
Richard Harris dominates the screen. Great British cinema.
January 2, 2012
ok I would of been upset to learn if Richard Harris wouldnt have received an oscar nomination for his performance. Awesome. Its hard to believe this was the directorial debut of Lindsay Anderson. Great cinematography. Hard to find a fault with this film....
November 8, 2011
Wow. Its been a long time since a movie got to me, and this one got to me. The climax to ending is just so raw and real. And Richard Harris's performance is amazing. The rugby scenes have a great feel to them as well. Just something about this movie moved me. Which is rare and special for me.
½ April 18, 2011
An incredible, awe-inspiringly powerful film. It contains some of the most convincing performances I've ever laid eyes on. And although it is a masterpiece, it's also a punishing experience for whoever sits through it.
April 17, 2011
Found this hard to get into. Harris is great but the character he portrays is so unlikeable that I had no sympathy for him. The reason for his behaviour is never fully explored either.
½ April 4, 2011
I'm a big fan of Lindsay Anderson's work and enjoyed this gritty, northern drama.
March 15, 2011
Bleak film about rugby and dilapidated relationships.
March 14, 2011
Possibly the darkest sports film I've ever seen, featuring a powerful performance from Harris.
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2011
"This Sporting Life" is one of the most famous of the British "kitchen sink" dramas of the 1950s and 1960s ("kitchen sink" films were very gritty, social realist films which were very popular in Britain at one time).

Frank Machin (Richard Harris) is a brutal, young miner in a city in northern England. Hoping for fame and fortune, he becomes a successful Rugby League football player. He uses his fame and fortune, along with physical violence, to try to force his widowed landlady (Rachel Roberts) to fall for him.

Photographed in bleak black-and-white, the film's scenes of emotional and physical domestic violence are still shocking today. Also notable are the violent, stylishly-shot rugby matches.

The cast are brilliant without exception, especially Richard Harris who manages to invest even his totally unsympathetic character with some degree of humanity.
February 6, 2011
DId Brando just get a British accent?? Seriously, at times you'd swear that Harris is Brando, especially when he loses his cool--which is pretty much 75% of the film (not a bad thing by far!). It very much reminded me of 'Streetcar' with rugby; there is a Tennessee Williams feel to the relationship between Harris and Mrs. Hammond, ranging from sweet encounters to brutal, physical situations. Harris is very much a Raging Bull both on and off the field. I feel that a lot of Harris' screen power/presence really is due to Anderson's framing and the black and white cinematography; as there are times when a simple cut or change of angle turns Harris from man to menace. Complaints?? Well, it's certainly not my favorite sports film, as Ranging Bull will never be dethroned; so, after saying that, it's a good watch--seeming a little drawn out at times--with moments such as the 'hospital room' scene that push the overall product far, far above average. Actually, I think the film gets much stronger in the last half-hour (almost irresistible), warranting a define second viewing.
½ January 30, 2011
film with it all, including the kitchen-sink
½ January 20, 2011
I love it when a movie I've never heard of comes on, and it's a gem.
½ November 29, 2010
Watched this after "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning". Both are gritty "kitchen sink" dramas set in bleak post-war northern Britain, and both feature Rachel Roberts as a troubled "love interest". This tiem around, the angry young man in Richard Harris and instead of a factory worker he plays a miner who uses his skill and ruthless determination to escape the pits and become a professional rugby player. Unfortunately he discovers that there is really no escape and the things he desires the most will always be denied him. Powerful film, and interesting role for Harris (who even sings, although not "MacArthur Park")
November 5, 2010
one of those "kitchen sink realism" films and the first feature film from lindsay anderson. boasting 2 excellent lead performances from richard harris and rachel roberts, the film captures the provincial life and time.
October 11, 2010
An easy five stars. Right up with the best films on sports with great action of rugby league. Great achievement from Lindsay Anderson who would go on to direct If and Britannia Hospital among other gems. Surely Rich's finest hour, yes even surpassing The Wild Geese, as he balances strength, defiance, brutishness and vulnerability, strangely resembling Marlon at times, and matching his on screen intensity. This movie should have been required viewing for Gazza and Wazza, warning as it does of the trials involved in being a working class hero. Great support from, among others, Arthur Lowe and Leonard Rossiter
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