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News12 Oct 2022

Top 5 movies about running


Movies about running (© Unsplash.com)

The most avid fans of running do not just want to practise their favourite sport. It's just as much fun to talk about running, read about other people's experiences or find inspiration in the best films. We pay tribute to the achievements of superheroes with the following popular films about running.

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Director: Hugh Hudson
Writer: Colin Welland
Stars: Ian Charleson, Ben Cross
Awards: Won 4 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 19 nominations.
Movie on imdb.com

There's hardly a person who hasn't had the opening scene of the film burned into their memory: the sight of men running on the beach in white while listening to Vangelis' music. The Chariots of Fire, released in 1981, is an immortal tribute to the British gold medal-winning sprinters of the 1924 Paris Olympics. Winner of four Academy Awards, it is one of the best and most famous of all sports films. The story is about two protagonists: the proud Harold Abrahams and the religious Scot, Eric Liddell. On the one hand, the film perfectly demonstrates how an athlete’s goals and achievements can be driven by a number of motives, some of which are completely different from one another. On the other hand, the film's main message is universal: the common goal of sport brings together the most diverse characters. And on the field everyone is equal, the seconds tick by in the same way for all of us. If you haven't wanted to run before, just put on Vangelis' music and your feet will take on a life of their own. 

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

Director: Tony Richardson
Writers: Alan Sillitoe, Alan Sillitoe
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay
Awards: Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations.
Movie on imdb.com

The oldest member of our subjective list was first shown in cinemas in 1962. The film, billed as a sporting rebellion, was based on a short story, and is still referenced by many today when it comes to the confrontation between freedom and power. It follows the journey of a working-class adolescent who, in the confined world of a boarding school, discovers that his running ability can make him stand out from the rest. During his solitary runs he confronts himself and discovers how to regain his self-esteem. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a great example of how running can help you in certain areas of your life. 

Forrest Gump (1994)

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Winston Groom, Eric Roth
Stars: Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
Awards: Won 6 Oscars. Another 44 wins & 75 nominations.
Movie on imdb.com

The movie introduced in 1994 was a huge success worldwide, mainly because of Tom Hanks, who  gave a convincing performance as the low-IQ yet outstanding in many areas Forrest Gump. A solid American man whose life is intertwined with the history of the United States in the second half of the 20th century. We see Elvis, Vietnam, the rock and roll boom, the Watergate scandal and the birth of mass sports. The experience of jogging together. Run, Forrest, run, the film says, and Forrest runs. He crosses America repeatedly. He runs away from the bullies, from the war. By running, he gets rid of his own limitations and is able to overcome the biggest obstacles. 

Without Limits (1998)

Director: Robert Towne
Writers: Robert Towne, Kenny Moore
Stars: Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland, Monica Potter
Awards: 1 win & 2 nominations.
Movie on imdb.com

There have been several films about the legendary Oregon runner Steve Prefontaine, but the 1998's Without Limits is a great capture of the American distance runner's nature. Pre's personality was everything that charismatic personalities usually are: annoying, rebellious, a force to be reckoned with. He was also a God-given talent, defied authority and died unexpectedly young. A runner who had fully embraced his rock star status and led athletics into a new era. Although many considered him arrogant, unscrupulous and pretentious, he was only interested in winning, and he did his best to do so. There was a period when Prefontaine held the American record for every distance between 2 000 and 10 000 metres. 

Run Fatboy Run (2007)

Director: David Schwimmer
Writers: Michael Ian Black, Simon Pegg, Michael Ian Black
Stars: Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria
Awards: 3 nominations.
Movie on imdb.com

To round off the list, we've brought you a light-hearted comedy after the heavyweight, dramatic works. The film’s protagonist is the overweight, middle-aged Dennis, who is not exactly the paragon of male athletes. After realising that he made a terrible mistake by leaving his fiancée at the altar, he decides to win her heart back by completing the London Marathon. Two little things make it difficult for Dennis: he has nothing to do with running, and she has a new athletic boyfriend who also entered the race. The film's key message is that no goal is impossible as long as you put the energy in it.