- Actors: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, William Hartnell, Colin Blakely
- Directors: Lindsay Anderson
- Writers: David Storey
- Producers: Julian Wintle, Karel Reisz, Leslie Parkyn
- Format: Black & White, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Restored, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
- Number of discs: 2
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Criterion
- Release Date: Jan. 22 2008
- Run Time: 135 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000XPSC16
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,149 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
This Sporting Life
Customers who bought this item also bought
One of the finest British films ever made, this benchmark of "kitchen-sink realism" follows the self-defeating professional and romantic pursuits of a miner turned rugby player eking out an existence in drab Yorkshire. With an astonishing, raging performance by a young Richard Harris, an equally blistering turn by fellow Oscar nominee Rachel Roberts as the widow with whom he lodges, and electrifying direction by Lindsay Anderson, in his feature-film debut following years of documentary work, This Sporting Life remains a dramatic powerhouse.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Strong moments of acting, photography, and interesting use of fractured time mark Lindsay Anderson's feature debut. This was a key film of the British New Wave cinema that helped moved English film towards gritty realism. (Ironic, considering Anderson's greatest films; 'If...." and "O Lucky Man" are quite far from that kind of naturalistic realism).
Almost all critics consider it a masterpiece, but on first viewing both the performances and the writing were too theatrical for me to grant it quite that level of perfection.
But I plan to re-see it. As often with films one hears about for years, I may have been over-hyped, and missed some of its greatness. And even as is, I found it a strong, impressive and very worthwhile first feature, worth seeing if you have any interest in any of the elements; the cast, the moment in English history, Lindsay Anderson's great career as a director, etc.
Criterion does their usual great job, with a beautiful transfer, and tons of supplemental material, including a wonderful 50 minute, irony filled autobiographical film by Anderson called 'Is That All There Is?', made not that long before his death.
David Storey wrote the screenplay based on his novel (same title) and, under Lindsay Anderson's crisp and sure direction, each member of the cast delivers a superb performance, including Glenda Jackson in what I think is her debut role. The colorful, often violent action on various playing fields is effectively portrayed, in stunning contrast with the drab lives of those who cheer on the teams. Credit Denys Coop for the cinematography. In essence, this film explores the nature and extent of one man's raw ambition and almost animalistic determination as his natural talents enable him to seize opportunities available to few others. Comparisons of This Sporting Life with Raging Bull are not a stretch. (Presumably De Niro saw this film prior to portraying La Motta. Did Harris see Brando in On the Waterfront before portraying Machin?) This is a dark film in terms of its tone and setting; also in terms of what it reveals about the values of young men such as Machin whose fame and fortune can be gone so quickly, and often unexpectedly. Then what? Within its own self-imposed limits, this is a "classic" film.
This great sport, Rugby League, was born of the toughness and physicality that these hard men faced in their everyday lives.
Richard Harris is brilliant in the lead role of Frank Machin, and the Rugby League scenes are the most realistic portrayal of sport ever bought to the screen.
A true masterpiece and a snapshot of the cruel realities that shape other peoples lives.
An essential addition to every serious collector of dramatic sports cinema.
A powerful film characteristic of the British dramas of the 50â€™s and 60â€™s based on working class life in rural England. Director Lindsay Anderson is one of the major contributors to this genre.
Want to see more reviews on this item?