The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
Critic Consensus: Dry and full of angst, this British New Wave classic features potent social commentary and a star making performance by Tom Courtenay as a textbook example of the "angry young man."
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as Colin Smith
as Ruxton Towers Reformatory governor
as Mr. Smith
as Chief Officer
as Mrs. Smith
as Lord Jaspers
as Alice Smith
as Johnny Smith
as Bill Smith
as Booking Office Clerk
as Tory Politician
as Public School Boy
as Public School Boy in Race
Critic Reviews for The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
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.
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.
Ultimately, Richardson's pot-shots at consumerism and class have lost some urgency, but the nihilistic, punky buzz packs an immortal wallop. Classic.
In attempting to straddle dramatic realism, Richardson tried hard to avoid moralizing on the hypocrisies of adults or exaggerating the experiences of youth, but in striving for the middle ground, he also strive for mediocrity.
Audience Reviews for The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Another exquisite film from 1962, the year that brought you Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird and King Kong vs. Godzilla. Tony Richardson knows how to make a motion picture and this is unequivocally one of his best.
While The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a beautifully bleak story about a reform school kid and for good or ill, the choices he makes. Great direction and cinematography along with a great debut performance by Tom Courtenay are definitely the highlights of this movie, but what I really liked was the flashback-told story and buildup to a truly well-done finale. Out of all the "angry young man" movies I've seen, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner was the best because it actually explained WHY its protagonist was the way he was as opposed to making you endure the behavior of a raving dipshit.
Ahh Mother,why oh why oh why oh why, don't they make them like they used to? Forget your Guy Richie crime capers,'Loneliness of the long distance runner' is British cinema at its best. I can't explain why I love this film (erm so why I am I here?), whenever I try to explain the plot to friends they look perplexed as to why the film should be so good. Tom Courtenay is in his element in his portrayal as the 'loveable rogue'. Has 'Jerusalem' ever been more poignantly sung as it has here? Im not urging you to go out and purchase the film, but if you have a spare 90 odd minutes and it comes on television then watch it. Ta.
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