Here are a few running scenes from films you might have missed over the years.
This one’s from a 1979 ABC TV Movie called The Jericho Mile. Directed by Michael Mann (Heat, Ali, The Insider), it nabbed an Emmy for Peter Strauss (Rich Man, Poor Man) as a man doing life in Folsom Prison. Running to pass the time, he gets noticed for his innate ability and coaxed into training for a (hypothetical) Olympic qualifying time. This is the final scene, and it’s a good thing the credits roll, because it’s worrying to play the “What Might Happen Next?” game. A sinewy man with long flowing hair, wearing short shorts, takes off his shirt and starts running around a prison exercise yard… And Brian Dennehy’s there! Oh my, don’t tell my wife I watch these kinds of movies.
This is a rare example of Hollywood reenacting a historical running moment, and making it less dramatic than the real thing. (Actually, not Hollywood at all… it was filmed in and around Edmonton). Running Brave was a 1983 movie about Native American and Marine lieutenant Billy Mills, the only American to ever win an Olympic 10,000m gold medal.
Here’s the scene from the movie:
Here’s the almost unbelievable real race:
(Here‘s a much longer, but colour, film of the race from a Japanese documentary)
Finally, from the “Before They Were Famous” file is this scene from 1991’s Across The Tracks. The movie’s about a young tough who gets out of juvie, takes up running to keep himself away from his old no-good friends, and winds up pitted against his track start brother in the city finals. The one actor went on to star in “NYPD Blue” and “24”. I don’t know about the other guy… I think I recognize him from an episode of “Growing Pains“.