Saturday, January 14, 2017
Favorite Running Movies: Dramas/Comedies
This category is tough. Unlike the biopics and documentaries, running is not the main component of all these films. There are a few films that some include in running movies where I don't think running is an important enough part of the plot to include them like, "Marathon Man," where although Dustin Hoffman's character is a runner, that part of the plot doesn't seem very important.
There are others, however, that might not come to mind when you think about running movies, but I included them because I don't think they'd be the same movies without running. Feel free to comment on those I left out or those I included.
I thought this one was funny and somewhat heartwarming. Ralph is a troubled boy whose mother is in a comma, and he basically lives alone while attending a Catholic school. He finds running as a way to cope, and becomes connected with a former marathon-running priest. The priest trains Ralph to run the Boston Marathon. While the plot is a stretch at times, especially in the race itself, and though parts of the film are crass, "Saint Ralph" is definitely entertaining.
Running is one of the most important parts of this film--don't even argue on this one. Forrest gets into college, becomes a military hero, and gains national attention because of running. What would "Forrest Gump" be without Forrest's run across America? Without his famous line, "Ever since that day, I was run-en!" If you haven't seen it, watch it right now.
Run Fat Boy, Run
This film employs the quirky humor of Simon Pegg as he attempts to train for and complete the London Marathon--in a span of about three weeks. This film is entertaining, though parts are completely unbelievable. The race itself is pretty entertaining, so if you have ever run a marathon or want to know what one parts are like, this one's worth a watch.
Across the Tracks
"Across the Tracks" features a very young Brad Pitt as a half miler on a quest to win the county championship and earn a scholarship to Stanford. His younger, troubled brother has just returned from juvenile detention, and although Brad is initially met with hostility from his brother, his brother also joins the track team. This one is a little cheesy in parts, but the running scenes are actually pretty decent and the story is entertaining enough that you might enjoy it if you're a runner.
Running on the Edge
In this Bruce Dern film, Dern plays a runner unfairly banned froom an iconic mountain race. Twenty years later., he sets his sights on winning the race. The race itself is based on the the famous Dipsea race, and Dern plays a compelling runner. There's a Jock Semple/Kathrine Switzer scenario with an angry director trying to remove a runner from "his" race, which makes it entertaining for running historians. The cinematography is also excellent, and I would enjoy watching this film just to watch the runners cross beautiful landscapes.
The Jericho Mile
This one's fun if not purely for the 70s lingo. Set in a prison, an incarcerated runner is spotted by prison officials who see his talent, set up a race for him, and try to get him entered into the Olympic trials. If you can get over the pure 1970s feel of this movie, the running scenes are well-done and the story is entertaining if you turn your brain off.