Based on an actual murder case in 1927 where a priest was accused of killing a nun he was in love with, subject matter is celibacy in the Catholic church, and presented in such a way that, at times, it appears like the best of the old-fashioned 1940s tear jerkers complete with overly lush sound track.

Based on an actual murder case in 1927 where a priest was accused of killing a nun he was in love with, subject matter is celibacy in the Catholic church, and presented in such a way that, at times, it appears like the best of the old-fashioned 1940s tear jerkers complete with overly lush sound track.

Yet Runner ultimately emerges as more than melodrama because director Stanley Kramer puts equal emphasis on the priest (Dick Van Dyke) and how he grapples with his love for God and this woman (Kathleen Quinlan) in his life.

Throughout, the film is paced by fine performances, especially Van Dyke as Father Rivard, Quinlan as Sister Rita and Maureen Stapleton as Van Dyke’s housekeeper.

The Runner Stumbles

Production

Stanley Kramer. Director Stanley Kramer; Producer Stanley Kramer; Screenplay Milan Stitt; Camera Laszlo Kovacs; Editor Pembroke J. Herring; Music Ernest Gold; Art Director Al Sweeney Jr

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Dick Van Dyke Kathleen Quinlan Maureen Stapleton Ray Bolger Tammy Grimes Beau Bridges
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