It's the 1953/54 school year at St. Magnus Catholic School in Hamilton, Ontario. Fourteen year old Ralph Walker is in many ways a typical teenager. He is experimenting with smoking and is openly preoccupied with the opposite sex, which makes him the brunt of jokes amongst his male classmates and which constantly gets him into trouble with the school's strict headmaster, Father Fitzpatrick. As penance and to redirect his energies, Father Fitzpatrick orders Ralph to join the school's cross country running team under the tutelage of the school's avant-garde thinking teacher, Father Hibbert. Some of the more unusual circumstances of Ralph's life are that he lives by himself in the family home, telling the authorities that he is living with his paternal grandparents (who are in reality deceased), and telling his widowed hospitalized mother (Ralph's father was killed in the war) that he is staying with a friend. Ralph's focus in life changes after his mother falls into a coma. It will take ... Written by
The name of the imaginary author of Ralph's manual on long-distance running, Simon Longboat, was borrowed from the great Canadian runner Tom Longboat, who won the Round the Bay Race in 1906 and the Boston Marathon in 1907. See more »
The actual winner of the 1954 Boston Marathon was Veikko Karvonen from Finland. His finish time was 2:20:39. See more »
Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 11 weeks since my last confession.
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I'm not a catholic, certainly not a saint, and can hardly even call myself a jogger, but I found this movie wonderfully inspiring, witty and enjoyable from start to finish. I was thoroughly impressed with Adam Butcher's performance; he portrayed young Ralph's emotions (and the struggles of youth) so genuinely that he brought tears to my eyes during several scenes. A truly uplifting message in the film, brought home with brilliance. The producers were able to turn back the clock on Hamilton in a convincing way, with the appropriate prudishness of dress and behaviour for the private catholic school community in the mid-'50s. The sound track / score was excellent as well.
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