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This Sporting Life 12 rating

Lindsay Anderson’s fantastic first feature masterfully dissects the brutal life struggles of a rough-edged rugby footballer on and off the field.

Sport 1963 129 mins

Director: Lindsay Anderson


In this astonishingly powerful debut feature by Lindsay Anderson, Richard Harris is outstanding as a tormented rugby player looking for love but unable to express himself away from the rough brutality of the playing-field scrum. The unattainable object of his affections, withdrawn widower Margaret Hammond (brilliantly portrayed by Rachel Roberts), is similarly unable to articulate her emotions.

Whilst it was well received by contemporary critics, and acclaim has grown with passing decades, This Sporting Life failed at the box office when it was first released in 1963.Director Lindsay Anderson would find greater commercial success with his next feature, If…(1968).