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This Sporting Life (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sport | 22 May 1963 (France)
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gerald Weaver
...
'Dad' Johnson
...
Maurice Braithwaite
Vanda Godsell ...
Anne Cunningham ...
Judith
...
Len Miller
...
Harry Markham ...
Wade
...
Jeff
...
Katherine Parr ...
Mrs. Farrer
Bernadette Benson ...
Lynda Hammond
Andrew Nolan ...
Ian Hammond
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Storyline

In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team 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, and this is not helped by the more straightforward enticements of Mrs Weaver. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1963 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Lockender Lorbeer  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernadette Benson, the eight-year-old actress who played Lynda Hammond, achieved newspaper publicity in her quest to be exempted from the film's X certificate, which prohibited children under the age of sixteen from seeing it. She said that it was perverse that she was able to see the rushes of the film as it was being made, but was too young to be allowed to see the finished film at the cinema. See more »

Goofs

In reality it would have taken years of training for Frank Machin to become a professional rugby player. See more »

Quotes

Frank Machin: We don't have stars in this game, Mrs Weaver, that's soccer.
Mrs. Anne Weaver: What *do* you have?
Frank Machin: People like me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Timeshift: 1960: Year of the North (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's A Jolly Good Fellow
Sung by the guests at the Christmas party
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User Reviews

 
Insolently sublime masterpiece
4 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

This title mostly stays obscurely distant to the wider audience, which is utterly sad, almost as the movie itself. "This sporting life" marks era of the British New Wave, but it is somehow off the French mellow tracks. Frank Machin is rude and robust, just like the circumstances of time and place. After swift uplift of cinematic themes, which almost totally set WWII into background, 1960ies made Brits turn the mirror inwards. Medium of film was open for investigating and reflecting what hides in one's inner and where could it lead. In circle, surely, as well-tried French recipe of the era already settled the never-ending mental pattern.

This is basically a love story, a tale of two fairly different people joined in their solitude. They glide through scenery of urban and mental squalor, wonderfully photographed by Denys N. Coop. Shades of the mind are so aptly blended with interiors and every feeling convincingly underlined by many (but never one too many) close-ups. By my account, the only moment which was superfluous happened in the fancy restaurant: Frank taking Margaret and her new fur-coat to dinner to a place that was never intended for them. Frank's rawness in the situation was a bit over the top, movie could have well done without it, or at least with having it toned down.

Nevertheless, poetry is inevitable. Lindsay Anderson managed to draw tenuity out of time, places and persons who struggled against each other. Finale offered the only possible solution: For those who stayed – "after all…tomorrow is another day."


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