Box art for The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner


A young rebel is chosen to represent his reform school in a track race.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: 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.

- Bosley Crowther, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Rotten: An iconic representation of a time, less so now.

- Chris Barsanti,, Monday, May 14, 2007


- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Another exquisite film from 1962, the year that brought you Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird and King Kong vs. Godzilla. Tony Richardson knows how to make a motion picture and this is unequivocally one of his best.

- flixsterman, Thursday, June 28, 2012

3 stars

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 direction and cinematography along with a great debut performance by Tom Courtenay are definitely the highlights of this movie, but what I really liked was the flashback-told story and buildup to a truly well-done finale. Out of all the "angry young man" movies I've seen, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner was the best because it actually explained WHY its protagonist was the way he was as opposed to making you endure the behavior of a raving dipshit.

- mjgildea, Thursday, April 7, 2011

4 stars

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 runner' is British cinema at its best. I can't explain why I love this film (erm so why I am I here?), whenever I try to explain the plot to friends they look perplexed as to why the film should be so good. Tom Courtenay is in his element in his portrayal as the 'loveable rogue'. Has 'Jerusalem' ever been more poignantly sung as it has here? Im not urging you to go out and purchase the film, but if you have a spare 90 odd minutes and it comes on television then watch it. Ta.

- matertenebraum, Thursday, February 10, 2011