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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama , Sport | 8 October 1962 (USA)
A juvenile offender at a tough reform school impresses its governor with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.

Director:

Tony Richardson

Writers:

Alan Sillitoe (screenplay), Alan Sillitoe (adapted from his short story by)
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Michael Redgrave ... Ruxton Towers Reformatory Governor
Tom Courtenay ... Colin Smith
Avis Bunnage Avis Bunnage ... Mrs. Smith
Alec McCowen ... Brown
James Bolam ... Mike
Joe Robinson ... Roach
Dervis Ward Dervis Ward ... Detective
Topsy Jane Topsy Jane ... Audrey
Julia Foster ... Gladys
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Storyline

A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of his life and times before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as the Governor's prize runner. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rebel with a Cause See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Woodfall Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The riot was largely improvised. There was one camera tracking up and down the aisles at the edge of the dining hall. Walter Lassally operated a second hand-held camera. His technique was to use the static camera and switch to hand-held at the exact moment everything turns violent or alive with frenetic movement, then cut back to static when the movement is less lively. "The choice, I think, of that moment where you switch from tripod or dolly to hand-held is very important," Lassally said. See more »

Goofs

When the boys are doing gardening work one character calls another "you mug" (meaning gullible idiot). This is incorrectly recorded in the subtitles as "you muppet" but the word "muppet" - meaning an idiot - was not in use when the film was made. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Colin Smith: Running was always a big thing in our family, specially running away from the police. It's hard to understand. All I know is that you've got to run, running without knowing why, through fields and woods. And the winning post's no end, even though the barmy crowds might be cheering themselves daft. That's what the loneliness of a long distance runner feels like.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in La solitude du chanteur de fond (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Jerusalem
(uncredited)
Music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
Lyrics by William Blake
Sung by the lads in the audience at the close of the concert scene
Several instrumental variations of the melody are heard throughout the soundtrack
See more »

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User Reviews

A magnificent unappreciated film
9 August 2002 | by carloi-1See all my reviews

I recently watched this movie again on TV. The wonderful performances by Tom

Courtenay and Michael Redgrave have not diminished with time. The movie is

also full of technical innovations at the time. One of these is common today, a fast switching between the two time frames of the story. The life of the hero in a quasi-prison and the family life that led to his capture and conviction. The movie also predates the current of "Angry Young Men" that was to be so prolific in

British Cinema. Others have remarked on the wondrous scenes of Courtenay

running in open countryside as he trains for a long distance competition. The accompaniment of a jazz trumpet also fit well. But to me the core of the movie is the rage of the hero towards the "establishment" beautifully symbolized by

Michael Redgrave's Headmaster. Don't miss this movie if you have a chance.


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