Best Movies by Farr
Watch it on:

    This Sporting Life

    This Sporting Life Poster
    This Sporting Life Poster

    Released

    1963

    Runtime

    135

    This Sporting Life

    What's it About

    Boorish Yorkshire coal miner Frank Manchin (Harris) longs to be a champion rugby player, and eventually wins a try-out after muscling his way to the attention of a city team. With his star on the rise, Frank avidly pursues Mrs. Hammond (Roberts), the sullen, grieving widow he lodges with and has fallen for with a mix of animal yearning and quiet desperation. But Frank’s macho rebelliousness is no match for her bitter and passionless view of life.

    Why we love it

    Combining kitchen-sink realism and visceral, football-field punch, Lindsay Anderson’s bracing kick-spin on tragic love is (for my sixpence) one of the nerviest Angry Young Man films of the 1960s. Adapted by David Storey from his own novel, the film features a galvanic, Brando-esque performance by Harris, a burly, open-mouthed battering ram of primal impulses, while Roberts plays the wounded widow with inscrutable complexity. DP Denys Coop shoots the thrilling match sequences from the ground up — you feel every nose-busting hit, starting with the opening-shot scrum — all aiding in the film’s secondary theme of sports-world exploitation. What a "Life" indeed!

    Up Next

    Three Came Home