5.6/10
301
11 user 3 critic

The Long Run (2001)

R | | Drama, Sport | 4 May 2001 (USA)
A failed track coach finally finds someone who he believes has what it takes to win.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bertold 'Barry' Bohmer
...
...
Gasa
Seputla Sebogodi ...
Terror
Desmond Dube ...
Miso
Anna-Mart van der Merwe ...
Anna
Christopher Kubheka ...
Johannes
Gift Leotlela ...
Popo
Jeremia Ramasita ...
Kupa
Nakedi Ribane ...
Blanche
Chris van Niekerk ...
Pool
Wilson Dunster ...
Suiker
Clementine Mosimane ...
Marie
Terence Reis ...
Dr. Paul
Elize Cawood ...
Mrs. Suiker
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Storyline

The Comrades Marathon is a 90-k race in South Africa. An aging running coach, Barry, wants to field a winner; he's working with four men from a factory, but when he's fired to make way for a smooth, corporate type, he's at loose ends. Then he sees Christine, a Namibian immigrant who runs to forget her troubles. He offers to coach her and soon she's living at his house, following his diet and training regimen. But his single-mindedness gets to her: she wants a job and a place of her own. Plus, the man who replaced Barry likes her and wants her away from Barry. Can runner and coach (woman and man, African and European) sort out their complex relationship before the race? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Longa Corrida  »

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A pleasant fairy tale. Comments on four sub-themes * * NO SPOILERS * *
18 July 2002 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

I rate this a "seven" because the film brings together several treatments which combine nicely.

The best treatment is the study of Barry, played by ARMIN MUELLER-STAHL, an Old-Man-and-the Sea type, a monomaniac, misfit sports coach with a questioned past, slipping into oblivion. He clings to just one race as his reason for being: a tough 90 kilo run, hence The Long Run. This character study alone ranks the film as a watcher.

The second treatment is the quiet and serene, still-waters-run-deep dignity of the African runner. This treatment is not enough to support the whole film. She is from Pretoria, and is an ideal-type, too-good-to-be-true. Character development is missing except in the one important sense that is key to the film. In the face of hardships both historical and current, and harboring some doubts as to what she is capable of, she grows in strength and breadth from the hardships of race preparation.

The third treatment is fairly formulaic: the David-beats-Goliath sports film. From Hong Kong martial arts film to G-rated knock-offs, the combination of stalwart heart plus beloved underdog is successful again. In this film, other issues obscure the routine set-up, thus providing a slight sense of 'maturity'.

The fourth and final treatment is Africa itself. Once or twice each decade,we are treated to a major Hollywood film bringing us the sights and sounds and smells of this most enchanting and provocative continent. THE LONG RUN was shot in South Africa. What we see in the background could just was well be viewed in several of the surrounding countries as well. Alas, the film's creators give us only meager examples of this land and life : a brick factory, some runners, and a taste of scenery. Much more could have been included.

Propaganda angles surrounding any such film could damage it. It has not the robustness of, for example, HOTEL RWANDA. I was caught up in the beauty and the story. That was enough for me ,,, and I hope, for you.


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