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This sporting life (1963):

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  • This sporting life (1963):



    This Lindsay Anderson directed 1963 feature was the film debut for Irish actor Richard Harris who plays Yorkshire coal miner turned rugby league footballer Franch Minchin. This Sporting Life earned Harris an best actor Oscar nomination and catapulted him into the big league (excuse pun). Also in the cast were fine Welsh actress Rachel Robers as Machin's love interest Margaret Hammond. William Hartnell plays "Dad" Johnston. Alan Badel, Arthur Lowe and Colin Blakely make up the remaining main cast. I first saw this as a kid at my Sydney boarding school and never forgot it. I suppose that had something to do with me being a huge rugby league fan supporting the world famous St George side at the time..and still do.. This Sporting Life gets top marks from me.

  • #2
    Me too.

    Vanda Godsell gives her usual excellent performance as a 'cougar', trying to entice Machin to be her lover.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chillingfilmania View Post

      This Lindsay Anderson directed 1963 feature was the film debut for Irish actor Richard Harris...
      Couldn't have been his debut, he was making movies at the end of the 1950s, but pretty much agree on the quality of the film. I read somewhere it was a financial loss when it first came out, it kept Parkyn and Wintle slogging in lame comedies to make ends meet.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by John Hamilton View Post

        Couldn't have been his debut, he was making movies at the end of the 1950s, but pretty much agree on the quality of the film. I read somewhere it was a financial loss when it first came out, it kept Parkyn and Wintle slogging in lame comedies to make ends meet.
        Harris had had prominent roles in The Wreck of the Mary Deare, Mutiny on the Bounty and a guest cameo in The Guns of Naverone, to name just three, before This Sporting Life, which I doubt got much of a release in the US so wouldn't have done much for his profile over there.
        Last edited by Odeonman; 17th August 2017, 01:22 PM.

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        • #5
          Harris made his film debut in 1959 in the film Alive and Kicking.

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          • #6
            Rachel Roberts played a great part. She should have won best actress for this film.

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            • #7
              http://www.moviepostermem.com/This-S...e-Poster/58704

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              • #8
                Originally posted by John Hamilton View Post

                Couldn't have been his debut, he was making movies at the end of the 1950s, but pretty much agree on the quality of the film. I read somewhere it was a financial loss when it first came out, it kept Parkyn and Wintle slogging in lame comedies to make ends meet.
                My mistake John. Must have read it wrongly. The film was Richard Harris's first starring role. That was what I should have written.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by googiefan View Post
                  Rachel Roberts played a great part. She should have won best actress for this film.
                  BAFTA said she was Best British Actress in 1964 (and Rex Harrison said she was Best British Actress in 1962).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jamal.nazreddin View Post

                    BAFTA said she was Best British Actress in 1964 (and Rex Harrison said she was Best British Actress in 1962).
                    Rachel was still good in 1975 when she made the classic Aussie historical mystery Picnic At Hanging Rock.

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                    • #11
                      She was a good actress all round. I recently watched one of Alan Bennetts plays and Rachel was in that along with Jill Bennett another good actress.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by googiefan View Post
                        ... I recently watched one of Alan Bennetts plays and Rachel was in that along with Jill Bennett another good actress.
                        Was that The Old Crowd (1979), directed by Lindsay Anderson?

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                        • #13
                          Yes it was the old crowd. Margaret Courtney was in it as well

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Odeonman View Post

                            Harris had had prominent roles in The Wreck of the Mary Deare, Mutiny on the Bounty and a guest cameo in The Guns of Naverone,...
                            He may have been prominent in the movie posters but my fading memory of these three movies —as well as the movie called 'Hawaii'— is that Harris appears fleetingly late in the movie with a few sentences of dialogue and adding very little to the plot.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chillingfilmania View Post

                              Rachel was that good in 1975 when she made the classic Aussie historical mystery Picnic At Hanging Rock.
                              Still my all time favourite movie.
                              Last edited by Fred Diedhiou; 12th October 2017, 12:51 PM.

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