Steve Simels
August 09, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

This Sporting Life

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts
genre
Drama

We gave it a B+

Director Lindsay Anderson’s first feature film, an erotic dance of death between a rugby player and a repressed widow, was a commercial flop in its initial release, and it’s not hard to understand why. Despite electrifying performances (Richard Harris suggests a young British Brando), it’s a violent and relentlessly downbeat work — made all the more effective in its laser debut by a razor-sharp wide-screen transfer. This Sporting Life does take an unconvincing detour into melodrama, but it offers a fascinating glimpse into the complexities of British class structure. B+

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