Watch The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
- 1 hr 44 min
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, a British drama film from 1962, tells the story of Colin Smith, a rebellious, working-class teenager from a poor family in Nottingham. The movie explores themes of class struggles, juvenile delinquency, and the British penal system. Colin Smith, played by Tom Courtenay, is an isolated young man who doesn't fit in with his peers. He spends his days roaming the streets, stealing food and getting into trouble. His father is an alcoholic and his mother struggles to provide for the family. When Colin is caught stealing, he is sent to a reformatory, where he discovers a talent for running.
The governor of the reformatory, played by Michael Redgrave, recognizes Colin's potential as a runner and begins to train him for an important race against a rival school. Colin quickly becomes the star runner and begins to see running as a way to escape his troubled life. However, as he becomes more successful, he begins to see the hypocrisy and corruption within the reformatory and its staff.
At the same time, Colin begins to reflect on his own life and the injustice he has faced. He resents the privileges of the upper classes and begins to see himself as a victim of a system that oppresses the working classes. As Colin approaches the big race, he realizes that he has a choice - to continue running and accept the system that put him in the reformatory or to rebel and reject it.
Throughout the movie, we see flashbacks of Colin's life before he was sent to the reformatory. These scenes show his relationship with his girlfriend, his struggles with his family's poverty, and his acts of rebellion against the system. These flashbacks give us insight into Colin's character and help us understand his motivations.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a powerful exploration of youth rebellion and class struggles. It shines a light on the cruelty of the British penal system and the way it fails to address the underlying social and economic issues that lead to delinquency. The movie also addresses broader themes of individual freedom, social justice, and the nature of power.
Tom Courtenay delivers a powerhouse performance as Colin Smith, capturing the alienation and defiance of working-class youth. Michael Redgrave is also excellent as the governor of the reformatory, managing to convey both his authoritarian power and his conflicted conscience. Avis Bunnage is also notable as Mrs. Smith, Colin's mother, giving a heartbreaking performance as a woman struggling to provide for her family in a system that is stacked against her.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a must-see movie for anyone interested in British social realism or 1960s cinema. It is a classic of its genre, exploring important social issues in a raw and honest way. The ending is powerful and thought-provoking, leaving the viewer to ponder the questions raised by the movie long after the credits roll.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a 1962 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.