This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life

DVD - 2008
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Northern England, the early 1960's. Frank Machin is a coal miner who is mean, tough and ambitious enough to rise up and become an immediate professional rugby star. The rugby league team is 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. His situation is not helped by the more straightforward enticements of Mrs Weaver.


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Apr 28, 2019

Pretty good film about a great ape on a football field

Mar 14, 2016

Very gritty and intense look at the British rugby scene and an angry young man who can't get himself in focus, putting a widow through the ringer in the process.

Feb 06, 2015

Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts are perfectly matched in this bleak working class drama about a well-meaning lout vainly trying to rise above his station in life. When a brash young miner is given the opportunity to make it big as a rugby star his reckless pursuit of fame and fortune threatens everything he ever valued, including the tenuous relationship he’d been forming with his widowed landlady. Harris’ character is a complex contradiction of arrogant cockiness and painful vulnerability that brings to mind a young Marlon Brando. Roberts portrays the grieving widow as a woman who yearns to be loved yet cannot let go of her husband’s memory, terrified to get close to another man lest he leave her as well. Their scenes together swing wildly from cold civility to frustrated outrage to a desperately intense passion. Anderson’s gritty B&W tragedy is beautifully filmed and its central story of a beleaguered Everyman raging against the forces that oppose him is ageless.

Green_Bird_203 Jan 21, 2014

Still powerful nearly a half century since it's made. Lifetime outstanding performance by Richard Harris.


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