- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Rebel with a cause
- Edward Jawer
Long before James Dean became the "Rebel without a cause", a young Tom Courtenay, in his first film role, was a rebel WITH a cause.Damaged by a brutal childhood, without anyone to look to, stifled by a virtually non existent educational system, the young man played by the new face of Tom Courtenay, lashes out at a corrupt, indifferent, and inefficient social system, whose real interest in the individual is zero.Urged to become the reform school's long distance running champion against a famous British Prep school, (But more for the benefit of the warden), the young man who is well in the lead as the race nears the finish, stops before the finish line and allows the competition to win.Retribution is swift, and as he is mercilessly beaten, the music of the beautiful and stirring "Bethlehem" plays along with the action. Thumbing one's nose at the entrenched establishment earns him exactly what he expected.Michael Redgrave is excellent as the pompous self seeking head of the reform school, but it is Courtenay who is electrifying. An extraordinary first film for a man who would become over long years, a talented, versatile, revered, and great British actor.
This is a great portrayal of England in the early '60's. Great ending. Worth watching.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
- Dashiell B.
A unique film from the British New Wave. Courtenay makes his film debut as a troubled youth with a talent for running, it is difficult to believe Courtenay as a young character & it would've been nice to see more of a relationship between Redgrave and Courtenay. The parts if the story that focus in the main character's late upbringing before his internment at the reform school is fascinating and makes us sympathize with him. A good film to see from time-to-time. I give it a 3.5/5.
My first time watching this film and I really would like to see it again. I think I missed a lot viewing this for the first time and I would enjoy it even more seeing it again. It's a quirky 60's vibe that's a lot of fun. So different from the films today and a whole lot better!
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
- Ira K.
Superbly directed y Tony Richardson, whose "Tom Jones" would win an Oscar a few years later, LLDR beautifully illustrates the plight of a juvenile delinquent in a rotten UK neighborhood looking for his role in society. With a convoluted home life and a beginning life of crime, Colin winds up in a reform school where he meets with local bullies, a headmaster seeking his own approval, and an opportunity for his own redemption. Told in engaging flashbacks, the story rises to a wonderful climax where Colin decides whether revenge or relative prosperity is sweeter. Terrific acting, wonderful story telling - based on a short story by British author Alan Sillitoe.
Youth in revolt
With little respect for authority and no adult role model worth emulating, Colin Smith epitomizes disaffected youth. When he is imprisoned in a borstal for a petty crime, Colin quickly learns to capitalize on his new found running skills to gain favor with the Headmaster. The Headmaster is also quick to see how he can exploit Colin's talent for his own selfish needs. Through Colin's thoughts during his training runs we see his past and present juxtaposed. We begin to get clues as to the real motivation behind Colin's apparent rehabilitation into the society that he has always held in contempt. The final jarring scenes where we see for the first, and probably only time that this "angry young man" get the upper hand, at a price, leaves the viewer stunned, but ultimately satisfied as this is the only way this film can end.