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.

Brown, House MasterSo, uh, how do you come to be here? 
Colin Smith: [puzzledI got sent, didn’t I? 
Brown, House Master: [chucklesYes, I know you got sent, but why? 
Colin Smith: I got caught. Didn’t run fast enough ! 
Is it life ? A “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” ?
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner