This Sporting Life

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I seem to discover a great British movie from the 1960's nearly every week. There are new gems being re-issued all the time. This one, from 1963, features an amazing Richard Harris as Frank Machin, a Rugby player trying to come to terms with the violence that surrounds him both on the field and in his psyche. He falls hard in love with his incredibly repressed, widowed landlady, played by Rachel Roberts, who steadfastly refuses to attempt happiness a second time. This refusal, as well as his realization of his exploitation at the hands of his Rugby teams owners, drives a once optimistic Machin into an abyss of self-destruction and violence. The black and white photography adds to the bleak and dismal tone of the film but also helps to convey the films reflection of the time. The slow motion close-ups of the savagery taking place on the Rugby field are simply stunning. I bet they are even more so when seen on the big screen. If you are a fan of escapist blockbuster movies, you want to pass this one by but for those who have an interest in 20th century post-war Britain, this is one you won't want to miss.

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This page contains a single entry published on July 25, 2008 7:35 PM.

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