This Sporting Life [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1963]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Disc One: The Film:
  • New restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary featuring Paul Ryan, editor of Never Apologise: The Collected Writings of Lindsay Anderson, and David Storey, screenwriter and author of This Sporting Life
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Disc Two: The Supplements:
  • Lindsay Anderson: Lucky Man? (2004), a short documentary from BBC Scotland featuring interviews with many of the director's friends and collaborators
  • New video interview with Anderson's first producer and close friend Lois Sutcliffe Smith
  • Meet the Pioneers (1948), Anderson's first film, a documentary short about a mining engineering firm
  • Wakefield Express (1952), an early documentary by Anderson about the town that later served as the setting for This Sporting Life
  • Is That All There Is? (1993), Anderson's autobiographical final film
  • Plus: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard and an article by Anderson from 1963

Synopsis

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 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

Cast & Crew

  • Richard Harris
    Richard Harris - Frank Machin
  • Rachel Roberts
    Rachel Roberts - Mrs. Hammond
  • Alan Badel
    Alan Badel - Weaver
  • William Hartnell
    William Hartnell - Johnson
  • Colin Blakely
    Colin Blakely - Maurice Braithwaite

Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.