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Big screen classics

This Sporting Life

Lindsay Anderson blends realism and poetry in his portrayal of a troubled relationship between a volatile rugby player and his landlady.

Image from This Sporting Life

UK 1963
Dir Lindsay Anderson
With Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, Colin Blakely
Certificate 12A

‘Free cinema’ realism was frequently about working-class characters in the north of England, and Anderson’s finest film is no exception. But in charting the faltering relationship between a volatile miner-turned-rugby player (Harris) and his widowed landlady (Roberts), Anderson finds poetry and passion both on the pitch (with slow-motion accentuating sweat and mud) and off (more about ‘muck and brass’).

Also available on BFI Player.


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