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 30 kilometre Hamilton Round the Bay Race, which Ralph wins in the movie, is an actual event; in fact, it is the oldest structured road race in North America, predating the Boston Marathon (started 1897) by three years. The film's director, Michael McGowan, won the Round the Bay Race in 1995 with a time of 1:36:09. 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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Every once in a while, a "feel good" movie pops up that surprises me. Always on the look-out for movies that my wife will watch, I picked this off the shelf and was simply delighted watching it. The story was better than the run of the mill tear-jerker and was made credible by the performance of young Mr. Butcher in the title role, the sweet and beautiful teenage Ms. Hope and the convincing performances of Campbell Scott and Gordon Pinsent as the priests with opposing views. To a pair of cradle Catholics like my wife and I who grew up in the 50s, the bittersweet romance of coming of age was very compelling. In short, this is a good film. Enough nostalgia to spark old memories for oldies like us and with enough sentiment not to be overly sentimental and maudlin. Check it out. You'll be glad you did.
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