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Depressing Movie Alert


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Thanks for the heads up on this film. It gets great ratings on IMDB so I will give it a shot.

 

This Sporting Life (1963)

 

Runtime: 134 min

Country: UK

Language: English

Color: Black and White

 

Rank Film Distributors Ltd. (1963) (UK) (theatrical)

 

In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges with Mrs Hammond, whose husband was killed in an accident at Weaver's, but his impulsive and angry nature stop him from being able to reach her as he would like. He becomes increasingly frustrated with his situation, and this is not helped by the more straightforward enticements of Mrs Weaver.

 

Trivia for

This Sporting Life (1963)

 

* Feature film debut of Edward Fox.

 

* It was 'Willaim Hartnell' 's apperance in this film that brought him to the attention of Verity Lambert, producer of "Doctor Who" (1963)

 

* At the time of filming, Arthur Lowe and Anne Cunningham were appearing together in Coronation Street.

 

* Glenda Jackson appears briefly in the group singing round the piano at the Christmas party.

 

* When Richard Harris is roughed up behind the scrum, rugby league legend Derek Turner, who was playing the character who punches him, was asked by the director to make the contact look real. So he did. He punched Harris for real and knocked him out completely, shooting for the day had to be stopped while Harris recovered.

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I agree.

I first saw this movie a year ago (they had it on VHS at the local library).

It certainly is one of the bleakest movies ever made, and leaves you with an empty feeling in your guts at the end. If you just want entertainment then pass this one by. The two leading characters in the movie (played superbly by Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts, both nominated for oscars) are totally unsympathetic and dislikeable, and I found myself yelling at the screen "what's wrong with you F***ing people". See it at your own risk.

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Hardly "unwatchable," but it (meaning director George Stevens) does seem to have trouble figuring out just exactly what kind of money it's supposed to be: comedy or tearjerker. Consequently, it's a very uneasy combination of the two.

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I hope you don't misunderstand my comments about the moviw This Sporting Life. I was'nt trying to imply that it was a bad movie, It's a damn good movie. The director, Can't remember his name right now, did a superb job of showing us the relationship between two messed up, self destructive people in a miserable environment. One critic called it the British version of Streetcar Named Desire.

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Hello,

 

I have not seen "This Sporting Life". I thank Metry Road for posting a notice of an upcoming broadcast.

 

I noticed (looking up "This Sporting Life") on IMDB another Richard Harris movie that may be worth investigating (renting) is "The Field". Again, a film I have not watched.

 

The three movies I listed are non-stop depressing films I have watched:

 

"The Fisher King"--a must-see. After watching, I was trying to think of the word to describe the movie. I read a review of "The Fisher King" that described it as "melancholy"...melancholy, indeed.

 

"Trainspotting"--a must-see. An accomplished film, but has a lot of drug use, foul language and focus on a group of pretty seedy characters. Did I mention toilet diving? The characters in "Trainspotting" remind me of some of my post-high school graduation roommates, so I felt a (sort of) connection to the movie. A lot of people would be disgusted by the 'goings on' in "Trainspotting".

 

"Sid and Nancy"--skip it. Yuck.

 

Milstead

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Oh, god, THE FIELD has to be one of the most depressing movies that I've ever seen. AND it's sloooooow. I actually fell asleep in the movie theatre while watching it for a few minutes, during the middle of the afternoon! I've only fallen asleep in the movie theatre twice--during THE FIELD and during THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER--but I was really tired the night that I saw RED OCTOBER, so there is that excuse...

 

THE FIELD is one of those movies where I am angry that I wasted 2 hours of my life watching it...Richard Harris, notwithstanding...

 

Sandy K

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See if you don't think Richard Harris looks a little like Marlon Brando in this one. At first, the film reminding me a LOT of Raging Bull with Robert De Niro, but Harris's character (& Roberts's, for that matter) have a lot more depth than real life Jack LaMotta (& his wife) did.

 

Because of Metry Road's earlier post, I wasn't looking forward to watching This Sporting Life; I don't usually enjoy these type of movies. However, I didn't find it to be nearly as much of a "downer" as Long Day's Journey into Night or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (which are both excellent and, IMO, better films).

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Absolutely.

Richard Harris was definately trying to play it like Marlon Brando. It's one of the best Marlon Brando impressions I have ever seen. A compliment to Both Richard Harris' ability as an actor, and Marlon Brando as a major influence. It's the only amusing part of this sad movie.

 

Regards

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I seem to remember there was a whole slew of 'Social Realism' dramas made in Britain during the 1960's, such as 'A Taste of Honey', 'The Lonliness of The Long Distance Runner', 'The Whisperers', and a bunch of others, All usually concerning the the deprivations of the working class poor. So many in fact that they became a whole sub-genre unto themselves, as did the 'Ealing Comedies'. I would like to see the above mentioned movies and others of the same genre on TCM.

 

Regards

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****Possible Spoiler Below****

 

Hello,

 

Oh...my... God. The "social realism" comment reminds me of that dismal movie--"The Whisperers" (1967). Oh yes, and disappointing! I kept expecting a Wes Craven "The People Under the Stairs" thing to happen. But, no.

 

Rusty

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