The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) Poster

Tom Courtenay: Colin Smith



  • Brown, House Master : Now when you broke into this, um, what was it...

    Colin Smith : Bakery

    Brown, House Master : Bakery, yup... what were you thinking about at the time?

    Colin Smith : I wasn't thinking about anything, I was too busy breaking in.

  • Colin Smith : Running's always been a big thing in our family, especially running away from the police.

  • Stacy, Drake House Leader : And always remember, they've got the whip hand.

    Colin Smith : Do you know what I'd do if I had the whip hand? I'd get all the coppers, governers, posh whores, army officers and members of parliament and I'd stick them up against this wall and let them have it 'cause that's what they'd like to do to blokes like us.

    Stacy, Drake House Leader : You'll learn.

    Colin Smith : We'll see.

  • Brown, House Master : Just describe the action to me in your own words, put me in the picture.

    Colin Smith : Got over the wall of this baker's yard, broke into his office.

    Brown, House Master : Hmm, I think you can do a bit better than this, Smith, um, surely your nerves were on edge weren't they, you felt afraid?

    Colin Smith : If I felt afraid I wouldn't have broken in, would I?

  • Mike : Where d'you learn to drive like this?

    Colin Smith : Me cousin had a milk round.

  • Ruxton Towers Reformatory governor : What's your name?

    Colin Smith : Smith.

    Chief Borstal Officer : Say "sir" when you answer the Governor.

    Colin Smith : [insolently]  Sir Smith.

    Ruxton Towers Reformatory governor : That won't get you far here, lad.

  • Colin Smith : Look, I'm nobody's favorite.

  • [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.

  • Colin Smith : There's other places besides London you know.

    Gladys : Well I don't think so.

  • Audrey : You'll end up in prison one of these days.

    Gladys : If he aint careful.

    Colin Smith : It'd get me out of this dump.

    Audrey : It ain't the only way to get out of it.

  • Colin Smith : Share and share alike. All for one and one for all, united we stand, divided we fall.

    Mike : You're a bloody poet, aren't you.

  • Colin Smith : The best thing to do is be cunning and stay where you are. I'm going to let them think they've got me house trained, but they never will, the bastards. To get me beat, they'll have to stick a rope around my neck.

  • Colin Smith : It's not that I don't like work. It's just that I don't like the idea of slaving me guts out so the bosses can get all the profits. Seems all wrong to me.

  • Brown, House Master : So, uh, how do you come to be here?

    Colin Smith : [puzzled]  I got sent, didn't I?

    Brown, House Master : [chuckles]  Yes, I know you got sent, but why?

    Colin Smith : I got caught. Didn't run fast enough!

  • Brown, House Master : Well, you're a new boy in here, aren't you, Smith?

    Colin Smith : Yeah.

    Brown, House Master : Yeah. So am I. Two new boys in here, in a matter of speaking. Perhaps we can help one another.

See also

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