The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Synopsis: A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of his life and times before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as the Governor's prize runner.
Genre: Drama, Sport
Director(s): Tony Richardson
Production: Continental
  Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

you shouldn't be proud of your house.

Stacey here, is proud of being

the leader of Drake house,

- aren't you, Stacey?

- I am, sir.

Well, Stacey,

I'm gonna put these lads in your charge.

- I want you to show them the ropes.

- Right, sir.

- Right, off you go, then.

- Go on, move!

Splendid news.

Ranley School is going to compete

with us on our Sports Day.

That's the first time in our history

that a public school

has joined forces with us. How's that, eh?

- That's good news, sir. Congratulations.

- Thanks.

Oh, but, it's the lads I'm thinking of.

This will really give them a great kick.

- Really put them on their mettle.

- Is Ranley competing in all events, sir?

Yes, but they've been good enough

to offer a special challenge cup

- for the cross-country run.

- I'd say that's our best chance, sir.

Well, I bet this Stacey ought to win

that challenge cup for us.

I doubt if Ranley School

has anyone to beat him.

If they had,

he'd have to be a champion, sir.

Well, Mr. Brown,

I hope your first impression of us

won't be too critical.

I know that some of you young chaps

from training school think of us older men

as back-numbers.

- Oh, not at all.

- Oh, yes, you do.

It's not surprising,

after all those new-fangled theories

that you've been stuffed with.

But theories don't always work out

in practice, remember.

I'm greatly looking forward to doing

what I can to help these boys.

Though, of course,

I realize that a Borstal housemaster's job

- is not an easy one.

- Well, I suggest that you trail around

after me for a bit, just to get

the hang of things,

then we'll let you loose to do your worst.

I came, and broke and entered

and got detention-centered

- What lark got you here?

- Go on, tap off.

Who do you think you're talking to?

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Alan Sillitoe

Alan Sillitoe (4 March 1928 – 25 April 2010) was an English writer and one of the so-called "angry young men" of the 1950s. He disliked the label, as did most of the other writers to whom it was applied. He is best known for his debut novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and early short story The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, both of which were adapted into films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Feb. 2021. <>.

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