schedule

This Sporting Life

featuring

Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, William Hartnell,

Lindsay Anderson’s first feature plunges into the muck of manhood: it opens in the midst of a blunt, muddy clash of bodies on the rugby field. A tooth-crushing punch batters footballer Richard Harris and knocks loose a series of fragmented flashbacks, to the mines and to a boarding house where a pretty widow (Rachel Roberts) resists Harris’s ungainly advances, until a violent need erupts. These temporal dissociations create the effect of a narrative, and a life, with little forward motion. Harris gives a Brandoesque yet distinctive performance as a bruised, hulking man, harboring secret sensitivities, angry and not particularly young. “He’s just a bit dazed,” his handlers say after the knockout; meandering through a bleak northern landscape, his murky stream of consciousness shapes the film’s subjective form of realism, the roar of the crowd mingling with voices in the mind.

Juliet Clark
FILM DETAILS 
Screenwriter
  • David Storey
Based On
  • The novel by David Storey

Cinematographer
  • Denys Coop
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 129 mins
Source
  • Park Circus