- Rated: Not Rated
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 44 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: February 13, 2007
- Originally Released: 1962
- Label: Warner Home Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- [unspecified] - English
- Closed Captioned - English - Optional
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Total Film - 11/01/2002
"...The nihilistic, punky buzz packs an immortal wallop....Classic..."
USA Today - 12/04/1992
"...Call them art or artifacts of an age, but most of the Brit working-class dramas from the early 1960s still hold up....[An] era-evocative movie..."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2003
"...British realism meets novelle vague-style realism in Allan Sillitoe's tale about a young delinquent who turn out to be a brilliant cross-country runner..."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/16/2007
"What does hold up is Courtenay's natural, scrappy performance." -- Grade: B
Wall Street Journal - 01/11/2013
"Mr. Courtenay is pretty remarkable....Walter Lassally did the excellent black-and-white cinematography..."
Alan Sillitoe's autobiographical novel about a rebellious 18-year-old living in dreary Lancashire proved to be the perfect material for Tony Richardson to adapt in the early 1960s. The film stars Tom Courtenay as the disaffected Colin Smith, who ends up in a Borstal, or reform school, after robbing a bakery. The Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave), the institution's chief authority, believes in physical training as a means of rehabilitating his charges. Despite his contempt for all authority, Colin one day inadvertently outruns the school's leading long-distance runner, and the Governor immediately assigns him to be trained for an imminent competition with a well-known public school. During his solitary training exercises, Colin flashes back to scenes of his chaotic youth: his father, a blue-collar worker dying of cancer, and his mother, a foul-mouthed harridan, blowing the insurance settlement on a new lover and a new TV. On the day of the big race, the two schools must share a locker room, and Gunthorpe (James Fox), the captain of the opposing team, reflexively wishes Colin good luck. The surprised boy looks at him as though these are the only words of encouragement he's ever received. Courtenay is exceptional in his film debut, exuding the bitterness typical of the director's early "angry young man" films. Employing jump cuts and undercranked scenes borrowed from the Nouvelle Vague, the film emphasizes the oppressiveness of the boy's environment and the temporary freedom that running offers him.
A troubled British youth is sent to prison after a checkered period of unemployment and petty theft. When asked to represent his correctional facility in a long-distance race, the lad agrees but sees the contest as a means of retribution against a corrupt system.
- THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER marked Tom Courtenay's feature-film debut.