This Sporting Life

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Year Released: 1963
Rating: 2.5

Brutish rugby player excels in the sport but suffers from self-doubt and can't get past his perplexing obsession with a widowed landlord (Rachel Roberts). Awfully similar to Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire - Harris is square-jawed Stanley, Roberts is a combination of Blanche and Stella - and the ending's even a little similar, with Harris' brutish demeanor finally destroying the woman he loves (him shouting her name in the last shot is yet another giveaway). The performances are consistently superb even though the story gives out in the last act, once it gets through all of its clever flashbacks and returns to the characters chewing scenery and physically battering each other (also, is the spider a reference to Bergman's Through a Glass, Darkly?).