Saturday, November 8, 2008

Greatest running related movie of all time

There are some decent non-fiction films that show the running spirit out there - "The Billy Mills Story", "Endurance" and on a lower level the Pre movies. But, the greatest movie about running of all-time is "The Jericho Mile". I don't expect the younger generation to know "The Jericho Mile". It was a made for TV movie made only 2 years after I was born. But, someone on my high school team discovered it and the movie became a ritual on the nights before a big race.

The story is about Rain Murphy (Peter Strauss) a man in prison for a murder that, although brutal, is forgivable. He's put in a large Calfornia prison with the worst of the worst. The prisoners are split up according to race - with Brian Dennehy playing the evil white leader. The director was Michael Mann - an in executive producer for Miami Vice, director of Ali, etc.

Anyways - Rain uses running as his escape from the crushing reality of prison life. The prison "sports reporter" realizes he's actually really good - and they try to set up some real training and maybe get him to the olympic trials.

Here is a youtube of the final scene - the greatest scene dedicated to running in the history of cinema. It doesn't really give away any of the plot - but, it does give you an idea of how dated the movie is - which of course is part of the fun.

Here is a youtube from the first scene - which kind of sets up the setting of the film. The only reason that I post it is in the last few seconds Rain's buddy yells "kick! - kick! - kick!". If i yell that to any of my former teammates they would immediately know what I was talking about. The black guys call Rain "lickety split" - when i was in college a random guy in Chicago called me that - it may have been the greatest day of my life (other than the day i got married of course ; ).


RM said...

And Brian Dennehy plays the evil white leader....haha

kipchirchir said...

I have never watched this movie. It sounds interesting.