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Reviewing The Running Movies
Believe it or not, there have been a few other feature films about running. In the spirit of the Prefontaine films, let me nominate three great (well, at least good) running movies, and three dogs. First, the good ones:

  
Reviewing The Running Movies

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By Don Allison
Posted Monday, 20 January, 1997

Believe it or not, there have been a few other feature films about running. In the spirit of the Prefontaine films, let me nominate three great (well, at least good) running movies, and three dogs. First, the good ones:

1) Chariots of Fire - starring Ben Cross and Ian Charleston. I know, it's a mainstream film, but this classic about two rival athletes from Cambridge dueling in the 1924 Olympics is an artistic and acting beauty, a truly visually compelling drama. The sound track by Vangelis went to the top of the charts. One of the most successful British films of all time.

2) The Jericho Mile - starring Peter Strauss. It's about an inmate training inside prison walls to run in the Olympics, after officials learn he has run a four minute mile behind prison walls. An improbable concept, but a riveting movie nonetheless.

3) Running Brave- Starring Robbie Benson. Hey, he did a pretty convincing job of portraying Billy Mills, the American Indian who came from nowhere to win the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Now, for the, uh, not so good ones:

1) Marathon - starring Bob Newhart. This "film" is sooo bad, even fans of the "Newhart" show should be embarrassed by this abomination. About a middle aged, overweight man who takes up jogging and runs in the New York City Marathon. Novel concept!

2) See How She Runs - starring Joanne Woodward. About a divorcee who decides to run the Boston Marathon. Like many running films, it suffered from bad factual content and poor depiction of running. Woodward looked like she could hardly run around the block, let alone 26.2 miles.

3) On the Edge - starring Bruce Dern. This film was TOO realistic. Dern is a rare Hollywood actor who runs seriously. His daughter Laura Dern is currently a film star. This picture was about a guy "on the edge " of life, trying to come to grips with his life by running in the famous Dipsea Trail race in San Francisco. The plot is almost incomprehensible. Some gave this one good reviews, but not me.

Special category: Forrest Gump - starring Tom Hanks. Great movie, but the part about him running across the country was absurd. Good promo for NIKE, but then, what isn't these days?

 

 

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