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Runner Stumbles

Runner Stumbles (1979)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3

audience

100

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Average Rating: 5/5
User Ratings: 15

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Stanley Kramer ended his career with this absorbing drama, adapted from the play by Milan Stitt and based on a real-life event from 1927. Dick Van Dyke stars as Father Rivard, an intellectual priest in a small, impoverished mining town in the state of Washington. A lonely man with low self-esteem, Rivard is depressed by the arduous and dreary lives of his flock, until the arrival of Sister Rita (Kathleen Quinlan), a bright, spirited young nun who joins his parish to teach at its school.

PG,

Drama

Dec 13, 1990

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All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (5)

Throughout, the film is paced by fine performances, especially Van Dyke as Father Rivard, Quinlan as Sister Rita and Maureen Stapleton as Van Dyke's housekeeper.

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Deadly earnestness over Van Dyke's tortured celibacy becomes risible long before the Perry Mason conclusion and a final scene of indescribable bathos.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Van Dyke's performance, though extremely sympathetic, is hard to assess. He worries and suffers, but the film finds nothing vital in his ordeal.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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In its relentlessly old-fashioned way, The Runner Stumbles has a sort of dramatic persistence: It's not great, but it's there.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A compelling and memorable drama, via Stanley Kramer.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Snobbery
Film Snobbery

The main problem with the film is that inherent to most play adaptations: it's too talky and static, with most of the responsibility for story development left to explanatory dialog.

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The Runner Stumbles is an exceptionally fine film about the exigencies of a religious calling and a critique of the legalism within Christianity.

January 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

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