Lindsay Anderson

This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life

One of the finest British films ever made, this benchmark of "kitchen-sink realism" follows the self-defeating professional and romantic pursuits of a miner turned rugby player eking out an existence in drab Yorkshire. With an astonishing, raging performance by a young Richard Harris, an equally blistering turn by fellow Oscar nominee Rachel Roberts as the widow with whom he lodges, and electrifying direction by Lindsay Anderson, in his feature-film debut following years of documentary work, This Sporting Life remains a dramatic powerhouse.

Film Info

  • Lindsay Anderson
  • United Kingdom
  • 1963
  • 134 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • English
  • Spine #417

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET:

  • 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
  • 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? (1992), Anderson's autobiographical final film
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard and an article by Anderson from 1963

New cover by Sarah Habibi

Purchase Options

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET:

  • 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
  • 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? (1992), Anderson's autobiographical final film
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard and an article by Anderson from 1963

New cover by Sarah Habibi

This Sporting Life
Cast
Richard Harris
Frank Machin
Rachel Roberts
Mrs. Hammond
Alan Badel
Weaver
William Hartnell
Johnson
Colin Blakely
Maurice Braithwaite
Vanda Godsell
Mrs. Weaver
Anne Cunningham
Judith
Jack Watson
Len Miller
Arthur Lowe
Slomer
Harry Markham
Wade
Credits
Director
Lindsay Anderson
Based on the novel by
David Storey
Producer
Karel Reisz
Screenplay
David Storey
Cinematography
Denys Coop
Music
Roberto Gerhard
Conducted by
Jacques-Louis Monod
Art direction
Alan Withy
Editing
Peter Taylor

From The Current

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Of Men and Balls: Ron Shelton on The Freshman and This Sporting Life

Over on the Criterion Channel, for Super Bowl weekend, we’re showing the first football movie ever made, Harold Lloyd’s crackerjack comedy The Freshman (1925), and the first rugby-football movie ever made, Lindsay Anderson’s heart-pounding dram…

By Michael Sragow

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Lindsay Anderson's Singular Path

Flashbacks

Lindsay Anderson's Singular Path

The author recalls his meetings and correspondence with the uncompromisingly independent British director.

By Peter Cowie

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This Sporting Life: The Lonely Heart

Midway through David Storey’s novel This Sporting Life, published in 1960, the widow Mrs. Hammond tells the hero that her relationship with him is making her feel “dirty.” “I couldn’t think why she should say all this,” he muses, “and t…

By Neil Sinyard