Cinema: Borstal Boycott

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, a piece of skillful but specious pleading for the British proletariat, ominously suggests that the battles of World War III may be lost on the playing fields of her Majesty's reform schools.

Expanded from a short story by Alan Sillitoe, Loneliness recites the lugubrious case history of a mill-town ragamuffin (Tom Courtenay) who winds up as a Borstal boy. As he reaches reform school, the hero is met by "the Guv'nor" (Michael Redgrave). "You're here to work hard and play hard," his nibs announces with an intolerably self-righteous smirk. "We're here to try and make...

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