The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

Tom Courtenay made his film debut as Colin Smith, a lower-class British youth who is sent to a reformatory as a result of a robbery, in Tony Richardson's landmark Angry Young Man film. Mixed with Colin's reform-school experiences,… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1962
DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007
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Critic Score: 74% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

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."

Variety Staff

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

More allegory from the depths of the British kitchen sink.

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TV Guide

One of the best of the British 'Angry Young Man films.'

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Time Out

Most of the period hallmarks of the British New Wave are paraded here.

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Simon Crook
Total Film

Ultimately, Richardson's pot-shots at consumerism and class have lost some urgency, but the nihilistic, punky buzz packs an immortal wallop. Classic.

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Chris Barsanti

An iconic representation of a time, less so now.

Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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.

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Douglas Pratt

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.

Emanuel Levy

Splendidly directed by Tony Richardson (just before Tom Jones), this highlight of the working-class British cinema (aka "Young Angry Men" films) features a stunning debut performance by Tom Courtenay that put him at the forefornt of British actors.

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Flixster Audience Score: 87% Flixster User Reviews
Randy Tippy
Another exquisite film from 1962, the year that brought you <i>Lawrence of Arabia</i>, <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> and <i>King… More
Pierluigi Puccini
Colin Smith is a rebel with a cause, the furious voice and spirit of the proletariat, the people who have to suffer for the privileged and get nothing in… More
Michael Gildea
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… More
Marcus Woolcott
The ending is divisive, but nonetheless this is a decent British film for fans of Ken Loach.
Cassandra Maples
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… More
Emily B.