Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Loneliest Runner

I just watched "The Loneliest Runner". It was a made-for-TV movie from 1976 about - I'm not making this up - a teen bedwetter who grows up to become Olympic Marathon gold medalist Michael Landon. (No spoilers, all of this is revealed in the first 10 minutes.) Basically, the kid's mother hangs his stained sheet out of his bedroom window in an attempt to shame him into breaking the habit. So the kid runs home after school every day to remove the sheet before any of the other kids in see it and - ta da! - becomes a fantastic runner.

This movie has always had a special place in my heart. No, not for THAT reason. When I was 8 (and fully in control of my nighttime bodily functions), my grandmother took me from New Jersey to San Francisco to visit some relatives. And while there, we watched this movie. There are a lot of scenes that I still remember well, but some have special meaning upon seeing them again.

There are some running scenes which I now know were filmed in Griffith Park (I don't think the most direct route from school to home would be past the Observatory, but who am I to judge.) I have biked and run on these roads may times, so it's kind of cool to see them on TV.

There is one place that I don't recognize though - the kid runs down a path into the woods across bridges and it looks really cool. Does anyone know where this might be? I want to go to there.

You can watch the scene here: Running into the woods

It's not like I'm recommending this as a good movie. But if are of a certain age, and can remember the angst and drama of 70s television, it's kind of interesting. 


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