This Sporting Life
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This Sporting Life
Adapted by David Storey from his own novel, This Sporting Life stars Richard Harris as Frank, an athletic coal miner who aspires to the greener pastures of professional rugby. Soon establishing himself as one of the most brutal and arrogant players in the business, Frank begins to amass a fortune. He also falls in love with his landlady, Mrs. Hammond (Rachel Roberts), who initially resists his advances. When she finally gives in, their relationship hinges on sex alone, as Frank practically begs Mrs. Hammond to give of herself emotionally and she remains incapable. At the wedding ceremony for… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film is raw and confident, but it's a little shallow, too."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"It's impossible not to appreciate the remarkable performances (both Harris and Roberts were nominated for Oscars) or the realistic rugby scenes that earned Harris a broken leg."
‑ John Petrakis, Chicago Tribune
"This Sporting Life exhibits astonishing vigour and a fierce engagement with life, but the bitter poetry is all its own."
‑ , Film4
"I'm tempted to see it as one of the strongest films of that period, every frame of which pulsates with drama, class confusion and erotic force."
‑ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
"It's about rugby league, beer, grit and tough lads, but it's also a profound commment on relationships loaded with symbolism and rich in emotion."
‑ , Film4
"Lindsay Anderson, making his debut as a feature director, brings the keen, observant eye of a documentary man to many vivid episodes without sacrificing the story line."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Probably the best crafted of the British 'kitchen sink' movies."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"I can't think of a sport movie that is better photographed. The black and white cinematography is gorgeously stark, the perfect medium for this bleakly unforgiving tale."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
"From its virtuoso opening shot of a rugby scrum -- from the bottom, looking up -- to its final emotionally draining moments, This Sporting Life is a captivating, visceral film experience."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A reminder that something really was stirring in those days of the British New Wave before it frittered itself away."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Leagues above the sanitized picture of organized professional athletics exemplified by '42,' 'This Sporting Life' wallows in the mud of the moral dirt that surrounds and runs the whole."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"This Sporting Life shrewdly anticipates modern Britain: a dour, yet thrilling and exhilarating film."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
"This Sporting Life is a quintessential entrant in Britain's kitchen-sink realism of the late-'50s and '60s."
‑ Arthur Ryel-Lindsey, Slant Magazine
More reviews for This Sporting Life on Rotten Tomatoes