Running (film)

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Running film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steven Hilliard Stern
Produced by Ronald I. Cohen
Bob Cooper
Written by Steven Hilliard Stern
Starring Michael Douglas
Susan Anspach
Music by André Gagnon
Cinematography Laszlo George
Edited by Kurt Hirschler
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date
  • 30 October 1979 (1979-10-30) (Canada)
  • November 1979 (1979-11) (New York City)
  • 16 November 1979 (1979-11-16) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
102 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
Budget $4 million[2]
Box office $2.8 million[3]

Running is a 1979 drama/sports film directed by Steven Hilliard Stern and starring Michael Douglas and Susan Anspach. It is about the fictional American marathon runner and Olympics hopeful Michael Andropolis and his struggle to compete in the Olympic Games.


Michael Andropolis (Douglas) is a US hopeful for the 1976 Olympic Games as a marathon runner. However, his life is fraught with trouble. His marriage, which produced two children, has fallen apart and ended in divorce. He struggles with unemployment and at one point in the movie is seen snapping due to frustration with the unemployment office bureaucracy. Additionally, his coach is reluctant to endorse him for the games. Andropolis always starts races strong, but because of his over-competitive strive, he pulls ahead of the pack too soon, sapping strength he'll need for the final minutes of the race. So he tends to not come in first, having used his stamina too early. His coach feels he is a quitter.

However, he providentially makes it through to the Montreal Olympics by finishing fourth in the qualifiers, but getting the ticket due to an injury in one of the top three finishers. Andropolis surprises everyone, by pacing himself early in the race, only pulling ahead halfway through the race. Well on his way to the finish line ahead of the main pack, Andropolis slips on wet leaves rounding a turn. The fall leaves him with shoulder and leg injuries as other runners pass him by.

As paramedics tend to him where he fell, as darkness falls, Andropolis is overcome by the need to "finish" the task of the race. He gets up, limping by and winding his way through traffic on roads that have been re-opened, as the marathon rules mark, and since the presumed final competitor had crossed the finish line hours earlier. Exhausted by the grueling ordeal of finishing the race with numerous injuries, Andropolis is greeted with cheers and support from the entire olympic stadium. He is met at the finish line by his ex-wife (Anspach), as his coach witnesses with a proud smile, and his daughters watch him on TV.

Many of the scenes including the start of the marathon as well as scenic shots were filmed in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada.

The movie was filmed in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada; Lakeshore Studio, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Montréal, Québec, Canada; New York City, New York, USA.[citation needed]



The film was made for $4 million and sold to TV for $5 million even before it was released.[2]


  1. ^ Release dates for Running from the IMDb
  2. ^ a b Malcolm, Andrew (27 September 1979). "Canada Enters Ranks of Top Film Nations: Location-Shot Attraction Natives May Be Lured Back Sale of Investment Units Co-Investment at the Start Includes Many Hollywood Stars Companies and Producers Grow". New York Times. p. C13. 
  3. ^ Richard Nowell, Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle Continuum, 2011 p 258

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