The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
The movie tells the story of ‘a rebellious youth’ (played by Tom Courtenay), sentenced to a borstal (boys’ reformatory) for robbing a bakery, who 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 (played by Michael Redgrave) prize runner.
Colin Smith: [puzzled] I got sent, didn’t I?
Brown, House Master: [chuckles] Yes, I know you got sent, but why?
Colin Smith: I got caught. Didn’t run fast enough !