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The Runner Stumbles (1979)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  21 February 1980 (Australia)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 162 users  
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Father Rivard is a priest in a small, economically depressed coal mining town. Working on what he thinks is a "controversial" work, he lives with the brutal lives of his poor parishioners, ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Father Brian Rivard
Sister Rita
Mrs. Shandig
Monsignor Nicholson
Erna Webber
Toby Felker
John Procaccino ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Larry Buck ...
Fire chief
Ted D'Arms ...
Bill Dore ...
Jock Dove ...
Doctor McNabb
Jim Doyle ...
Matt Webber


Father Rivard is a priest in a small, economically depressed coal mining town. Working on what he thinks is a "controversial" work, he lives with the brutal lives of his poor parishioners, the old, unfriendly nuns in the nearby convent, and his own self doubts. When Rita, an energetic and bright young Sister, arrives at the parish, he finds someone he can talk to, someone with whom he has much in common. This sets into motion a series of events that leads to Sister Rita's death - and the indictment of Father Rivard in that act. Written by Gary Dickerson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 February 1980 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A Queda  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


Publicity for this picture stated that it was the first dramatic role in a cinema movie for comedian Dick Van Dyke. See more »


My Rumble Seat Gal
Music by Ernest Gold
Lyrics by Jan K. Gold (as Jeanette Keller)
See more »

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User Reviews

great movie
28 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie in 1983 when I went out west to see my boyfriend. He was a river runner & was living in a house full of the same. Because river runners are in & out of the house on multi-day trips, many people used the house as their crash pad between trips. The point is that the house was full of people. This came on HBO and a bunch of us watched it with rapt attention. Later that day, it came on again and we all sat there and watched it again! How good is a movie when a house full of people watch the same movie twice in one day! I have never understood why more people have not heard of or seen this movie. It is wonderful. It is not a slam bam action movie, it is more about character and how people evolve through interaction with others even though external events may not allow for it. I have never forgotten this movie and I am going to chase down my own copy.

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