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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

lots of stubbed toes in the Long Run
21 December 2001 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

This is a South African propaganda film wherein all the blacks and all the whites interact as if race has never been an issue. The utter lack of tension between the haves and have nots is so distracting that for awhile I thought that this was an intentional plot device and that there would eventually be some secret revealed to explain the phony harmony. No such luck.

Whoever wrote, directed, and produced this movie knows very little about what real marathon running is like (many pudgy athletes easily cover 20-40 miles while not even one runner who looks like a long distance runner is shown!)..

The female lead is very beautiful, and she can act, but she can't run. Her backstory is tantalizingly, but no details ever are offered to explain how this illegal alien has learned such perfect English, self composure, and good mental hygiene. She is the second lead in the film and all we know is that she can run (it would be nice to know why), and that she is smarter than and unafraid of all whites, men, and governmental authorities (why and how this is so is an unforgivable omission).

I am almost always a big fan of Mueller-Stahl, but here he is given nothing to work with. He plays an embittered coach who at 60 still cannot train his athletes without reliving his own humiliating experiences in the same race 40 years before. The story unfolds in fits and starts, jumping over gaping plot holes while lingering forever on Mueller-Stahl's quite unbelievably self-absorbed and obviously ineffective dedication to training runners. By the day of the big race he is totally psychotic, becoming more and more unhinged the closer his runner comes to actually winning the race. Again, a little more backstory could have made his Germanic anal retentiveness less cliched.

It is never made clear what the coach's goal for his prodigy is: to finish, to make it past the hill he himself couldn't conquer, or to actually win. All we know is that he treats her like a robot and screams annoyingly at her to always slow down. No wonder his methods are at one point referred to as "eccentric".

This movie was made with an agenda to depict South Africa in insultingly inaccurate ways. Can anyone still spell apartheid?


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