Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movie Review-The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Any movie with "running" in the title must be great, right?  That's what I thought when I saw this movie in the Blockbuster online list.  While I did know it was an old British film from 1962, I didn't realize that it would be in black and white and have very little to do with running.

To mask the silence of the movie, because there was nothing to say and nothing happening, symphony music played in the background. Music is always playing in a movie and helps set the mood but in the 60's, they hadn't mastered the use of music and probably only had symphony music readily available.

The movie takes place at a school for juvenile delinquents and one boy, Smith, is identified and groomed for a big cross country race against another school.  One day, Smith is allowed to go for a long run off school grounds.  Outside of the gates that hold the boys in he runs (more symphony music) and returns to the school.  Besides the last scene, that is all the most running you see.

When making the movie there were no real runners directing it so there is lots of bad form.  In the final scene he's running along (the race can't be more than 5 miles) and it's like the director said, ok now look like you're tired, flap your arms and hands,  Yes, that's it.

The movie ended horribly.  He's in the lead and while he's racing he has all these disjointed pictures of his past running through his head.  While this is normal for us runners to shift from thought to thought, the movie shows those pictures and Smith concludes that he's running for the school, not for himself and screw them and all authority and he STOPS. He just STOPS before the finish line. And that's it. There's nothing more. It was a stupid ending.

Unless you have absolutely nothing to do and wish to kill a couple hours, I recommend you leave this movie where the other black and white old movies belong...on the shelf.

My rating is one out of 5 running shoes

Happy Running!


Ewa said...

That's what happens when unthinking people try to make a thinking book into a movie.

The Sean said...

I was very disappointed as well.

Adam said...

HA! I would have totally been with you. If it has running in the title, it has to be good, right??

lindsay said...

well you certainly convinced me not to see it.

Johann said...

Thanks for the review/advice. I'll certainly leave it on the shelf. Have a good week!

Black Knight said...

Better to run the Black Knight Army's virtual race!
However thank you, now I know what I don't have to watch.