This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life

Lindsay Anderson (1963)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Director Lindsay Anderson's first feature film is his best, giving Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts the roles of their lives. Harris stars as the miner who becomes a ruthless professional rugby player; Roberts plays the repressed, widowed landlady with whom he can only communicate through violence. Adapted from David Storey's novel, it includes some remarkable scenes of confrontation - one particular quarrel between the two is painfully honest - and the northern town where it all takes place is as evocatively depicted as the setting of that other kitchen-sink classic Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (which producer Karel Reisz directed). This numbers among the early ripples of the British New Wave and it still hits hard.


A successful rugby league player's arrogant and aggressive behaviour undermines his fragile relationship with an emotionally repressed widow. As their affair comes to a bitter end, he devotes himself to the game, but the exploitation he and his fellow players endure takes its toll. Lindsay Anderson's drama, starring Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, William Hartnell, Colin Blakely and Arthur Lowe. Part of Rugby League Night.

Cast & Crew

Frank Machin Richard Harris
Mrs Hammond Rachel Roberts (1)
Weaver Alan Badel
Johnson William Hartnell
Maurice Braithwaite Colin Blakely
Mrs Weaver Vanda Godsell
Slomer Arthur Lowe
Judith Anne Cunningham
Len Miller Jack Watson
Wade Harry Markham
Jeff George Sewell
Phillips Leonard Rossiter
Dentist Frank Windsor
Director Lindsay Anderson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Park CircusGuidance: Contains some violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 5 Jun 2009