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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

IMDb 7.6 104 min
Drama, Sport
Tom Courtenay, Frank Finlay, James Fox, Derek Fowlds, Edward Fox, James Bolam, Michael Redgrave, Alec McCowen, Julia Foster, Avis Bunnage
Tony Richardson
United Kingdom
8.3 / 4 times
Nottinghamian Colin Smith (Sir Tom Courtenay) is a sullen young man from a working class family. He, along with his friend Mike (James Bolam), commit petty crimes. Colin does so in an effort to escape his unhappy family life. He has a difficult relationship with his mother (Avis Bunnage), especially in that she seemed to be more interested in the insurance money from his father's death than with his father as a man and husband. That fact is further highlighted by her taking up with another man immediately following Mr. Smith's (Peter Madden's) death. Colin also distrusts authority. He is sent to Ruxton Towers Reformatory after he is caught stealing money from a bakery. His stay there is initially a difficult one until its Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave) notices that Colin has a natural ability in long distance running, which Colin states was all in an effort to run away from the Police, who were often chasing him. The Governor believes running may be Colin's salvation to a better life, both at Ruxton Towers, and after his release. The Governor wants to cultivate Colin's running ability so that he will race for the school in the inaugural track meet against a public school, winning which will show the world the Governor being able to turn these boys into functioning members of society. Colin does take up the challenge, as running offers him a sense of freedom. Colin may use his running to demonstrate what he considers his ultimate act of freedom.
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