Best Movies by Farr
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner Poster
Released Runtime Category
1962 104 Drama, Sports Movies
Director Language
Tony Richardson English
Tom Courtenay, Michael Redgrave, Frank Finlay, James Fox

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

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What's it About

Sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rebellious English punk Colin Smith (Courtenay) soon attracts the interest of the school's Governor (Redgrave) for his athletic prowess. Hoping to groom Colin for a cross-country race against a public school, the Governor endows him with special privileges. But is the embittered Colin willing to be house-trained?

Why we love it

One of the best of Britain's "Angry Young Man" films, Richardson's expressive drama hinges on the complex psychology of Colin, an uneducated but cunning youth still smarting from the recent death of his father. Richardson builds tension by cutting between the restrictions and tensions of reform-school life and Colin's recollection of events leading up to his arrest and detention. Courtenay (of "Billy Liar" fame) gives a haunting performance in the title role, and Redgrave is masterful playing a goodhearted administrator obsessed with rehabilitation — and winning a trophy. For a powerful expression of working-class disaffection, go the distance with this "Runner."

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"