×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Running on the Sun: The Badwater 135

Vet filmmaker Mel Stuart delivers a well-paced trip through one of the most grueling marathons on Earth, following 13 indefatigable participants on their 135-mile trek across Death Valley and up Mount Whitney. With its absorbing mix of personalities, spectacular landscapes and vivid depiction of the agony and the ecstasy, "Running on the Sun" should go the distance on video and in small-screen slots.

Vet filmmaker Mel Stuart delivers a well-paced trip through one of the most grueling marathons on Earth, following 13 indefatigable participants on their 135-mile trek across Death Valley and up Mount Whitney. With its absorbing mix of personalities, spectacular landscapes and vivid depiction of the agony and the ecstasy, “Running on the Sun” should go the distance on video and in small-screen slots.

Providing little background on the Badwater 135 race itself, Stuart focuses on his subjects, among whom are two men who lost limbs to land mines. For something few of them can adequately describe (there is no cash prize for the winner), these road warriors press on through pain, nausea, hallucinations and gruesome blisters, not to mention the July heat (115 degrees at 10 a.m.) and occasional windstorms. “I don’t think there’s a thing about this that’s good for the body,” notes Dr. Ben Jones, race coordinator and docu narrator, who takes viewers through the paces with quiet equanimity. While the Badwater bunch are driven, it’s a cooperative rather than competitive spirit that impresses. Stuart and intrepid crew have captured a searing portrait of endurance against all odds.

Running on the Sun: The Badwater 135

Production: A Mel Stuart presentation in association with Galaxy Entertainment, with the participation of Qualcomm. Produced by Stuart, Leland Hammerschmitt. Executive producers, Richard Houghton, Kirk Friedman. Co-producer, Chris Wiser. Directed by Mel Stuart.

Crew: Camera (color), John Malvino, Kevin O'Brien, David West; editor, Greg Byers; music, Michel Colombier. Reviewed at Hollywood Film Festival, Aug. 4, 2000. Running time: 98 MIN.

More Film

  • Woody Allen Developing Next Film With

    Woody Allen Teams with Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

    MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]

  • 'Stitches' Review: Berlin Film Festival

    Berlin Film Review: 'Stitches'

    An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]

  • Aruna and Her Palate review

    Berlin Film Review: ‘Aruna & Her Palate’

    When mouthwatering Indonesian cuisine and romance are on the table, “Aruna & Her Palate” is a bouncy crowd-pleaser. Less tasty is the backdrop of a suspected bird flu outbreak that brings a food-loving epidemiologist into contact with her secret crush. Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s 2014 novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate,” “Aruna” manages to overcome its [...]

  • 'Duke' Review: Two Fake Cops Patrol

    Film Review: 'Duke'

    If you can envision “Let’s Be Cops” reconstituted as a noirish psychodrama, you may be adequately prepared for “Duke,” an uneven but arresting indie thriller about two siblings who are driven to heroic extremes by childhood traumas. Co-directed by twin brothers James and Anthony Gaudioso, who also appear in strikingly different supporting roles, the film [...]

  • Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in

    Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in Berlin Festival Film 'Sargasso Sea'

    After a sudden suicide turns a small eel-farming town upside down, an investigation unearths troubling secrets about the town’s past. Those discoveries will bring together two women trapped in solitary lives, offering each a chance to find salvation. “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” is the third feature by Greek director Syllas Tzoumerkas. Starring frequent [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    France's Cesar Awards Leads the Way for the Oscars

    Since 2011, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has steadfastly held its annual awards ceremony the Friday before the Academy Awards. And if launching the Césars two days before the Oscars holds a real, practical benefit — allowing those walking both red carpets time to linger over their last flutes of Champagne before [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content