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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Tony Richardson

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About the Movie

A rebellious reform school student is determined to prove himself and buck society's expectations by running long distances. Academy Award-nominee Tom Courtenay ("The Dresser," "Dr. Zhivago") stars as the young man who challenges the authorities every step of the way, plotting his revenge in this classic tale of hope and determination. Leonard Maltin commends this "key British film of the 1960s... engrossing story [and] superb acting," bestowing it with the exceptional rating of **** (four stars). Features Academy Award-nominee Michael Redgrave ("The Lady Vanishes"), head of the acclaimed acting dynasty (daughters Vanessa and Lynn, granddaughters Natasha and Joely Richardson), directed by his son-in-law, Tony Richardson ("The Hotel New Hampshire," "Tom Jones").

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 19
  • Fresh: 14
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: While this show of compassion may not sit comfortably with those who distrust social agitation and too easy sympathy, it must be said that a splendid presentation is made by Mr. Richardson. – Bosley Crowther, New York Times, Aug 4, 2008

Fresh: The performance of Tom Courtenay and the imaginative, if sometimes overfussy, direction of Tony Richardson, plus some standout lensing by Walter Lassally makes this a worthwhile pic. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: More allegory from the depths of the British kitchen sink. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: A landmark in British cinema, which not only launched Courtenay's career, but also continued the trend of assertively incorporating contemporary social issues into film drama. – Film4, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A great portrayal of adolescent alienation

An absolutely perfect British film from the early 60's about a glowering, disaffected late teen sent to a rather preppy juvenile corrections institution, where he starts to find himself. However, his past in an unhappy working class home, nicely portrayed in flashbacks, takes its toll and leads to a deep conflict between his roots and current efforts to gain self-respect and approval of The Man through distance running. This film made quite an impression on me long ago in high school, and I found it to be just as powerful today. The HD version is a beautiful grain-free transfer that presents the film's B&W photography to good effect. I won't spoil it for you by telling you how the runner resolves his conflicts, but can tell you that the big race at the end contains, for me, one the most memorable and powerful scenes in all of cinema.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1962

Customer Ratings