The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

United Kingdom, 1962 / 100 Mins

Director: Tony Richardson

Starring: Tom Courtenay, Michael Redgrave

A seminal classic of 1960s cinema and one of the enduring peaks of the British New Wave, Tony Richardson's socially-engaged drama The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner catapulted near-newcomer Tom Courtenay from obscurity to BAFTA-winning stardom. He is rivetingly, harrowingly real as Colin, a troubled, sharp-tongued inner-city teenager from the English Midlands whose criminal ways see him sent to a rural "borstal" youth-prison. Colin's snarlingly cynical, proto-punk attitudes see him repeatedly clash with the hard-line guards—but the scrawny lad's unexpected athletic prowess also makes him a favourite of the avuncular governor. Building inexorably to a famously stunning finale that still packs a serious punch, this adaptation of the award-winning short novel by Alan Sillitoe features a gallery of soon-to-be-familiar faces (John Thaw, James Bolam, Edward Fox) in an atmospheric, acerbic and timeless tale of youth in revolt.

Showing as part of Portsmouth Festivities 2018

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