From its virtuoso opening shot of a rugby scrum--from the bottom, looking up--to its final emotionally draining moments, THIS SPORTING LIFE is a captivating, visceral film experience. Not only is Lindsay Anderson's (IF..., O LUCKY MAN!) first feature film one of the most poignant
sports-centered movies ever made, it is also a landmark in the history of British cinema, an "Angry Young Man" classic. Adapted by David Storey (who played professional rugby at one time) from his own novel, the film follows the fortunes of Frank Machin (Richard Harris), a loutish former Yorkshire
coal miner who bashes his way to local celebrity as a professional rugby player. Although pur...