The Loneliest Runner
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1976 TV movie written, directed, and starring Michael Landon. A fourteen year old bed wetter runs home from school every day to retrieve the wet sheet his mother has hung from his bedroom window to punish him. He races to get there before any of his friends pass the house. This enforced training prepares him to become a competitive runner. The script, by Michael Landon, is autobiographical.
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It was easy to find at Amazon. thank you.
This may all sound like a boring or outdated topic, but stay with it to see a family dynamic exposed and some great acting as well by Brian Keith. John obviously has a condition that can't be helped. You could almost apply any embarrasing ailment, or even an addiction to the story and get a good message from it. His mother is downright mean and determined to embarrass her son by hanging his urine stained bed sheets out the window for all his friends and neighbors to see. The film takes place in the 50s so you can somewhat understand the naivete'.
To avoid ridicule John bolts home from school everyday to take the sheets in before they can be seen. Doing this daily, he develops great speed and is recognized by the school track coach as a standout. A wonderful and eventually forceful showing of compassion by dad makes it all worthwhile. As we return to the adult John Curtis at the films end, he makes a bittersweet and humbling statement (in true Landon fashion).
The Loneliest Runner is a surprisingly interesting and entertaining movie. If your in the mood to stir up emotions, this well done and probably forgotten seventies TV movie will do it. Watching it as a parent by yourself could be a learning experience. The Loneliest Runner deserves a quality dvd release.
Humiliating a child can make matters much worse. I found that because of my mother, I continued to have a problem up until the time I moved out. Once I was away, I didn't have the problem anymore because the stress my mother would put me through was gone.
Parents should think before they speak. Don't belittle a child because of something they did wrong or by accident. Try to correct the problem instead of shaming them. You'll find it works much better.
I would really love to see this movie come out on DVD... or even a re-make of the movie would be great.