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This Sporting Life Details


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 one of Frank's teammates, Mrs. Hammond unexpectedly lashes out at her swaggering lover. They split up, but Frank, who until now has equated happiness with wealth, is unable to get over the permanent loss. In the end, with nothing else left, all of Frank's self-worth becomes contingent on his rugby performances, though Frank and the other players are exploited to such a degree that this also proves disastrous. Widely regarded as one of the finest British feature films ever produced, the gritty and bleak This Sporting Life not only marked former documentary filmmaker Lindsay Anderson's first feature, but became one of the harbingers of the "Angry Young Man" school of filmmaking. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:July 16, 1963


Awarded by
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Lindsay Anderson Best Film - Any Source 1963 Nominee
Cannes Film Festival Richard Harris Best Actor 1963 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Harris Best Actor 1963 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Rachel Roberts Best British Actress 1963 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Rachel Roberts Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Rachel Roberts Best Actress 1963 Nominee


Richard Harris
as Frank Machin
Rachel Roberts
as Mrs. Hammond
Alan Badel
as Weaver
William Hartnell
as Johnson
Colin Blakely
as Maurice Braithwaite
Arthur Lowe
as Slomer
Vanda Godsell
as Mrs. Weaver
Anne Cunningham
as Judith
Jack Watson
as Len Miller
Katherine Parr
as Mrs. Farrer
Peter Duguid
as Doctor
Wallas Eaton
as Waiter
Anthony Woodruff
as Head Waiter
Frank Windsor
as Dentist
John Gill
as Cameron
Glenda Jackson
Harry Markham
as Wade
George Sewell
as Jeff
Leonard Rossiter
as Phillips
Murray Evans
as Hooker
Tom Clegg
as Gower
Leonard Rossiter
as Phillips
Tom Clegg
as Gower
Murray Evans
as Hooker
Harry Markham
as Wade
George Sewell
as Jeff


Lindsay Anderson
Karel Reisz
Denys Coop
Roberto Gerhard
Composer (Music Score)
Alan Withy
Art Director
Peter Lamont
Set Designer
Sophie Devine
Costume Designer
Ted Sturgis
First Assistant Director
Miriam Brickman
Christopher Neame
Clapper Loader