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

  • 'Billionaire Boys Club' Review

    Film Review: 'Billionaire Boys Club'

    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 […]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    'Crazy Rich Asians' to Top 'The Meg's' Second Weekend

    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 […]

  • Running for Grace

    Film Review: 'Running for Grace'

    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 […]

  • Love 1. Dog Review

    Sarajevo Film Review: ‘Love 1. Dog’

    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 […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg

    Jeffrey Katzenberg on Oscars' New Popular Film Category Controversy

    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 […]

  • Most-Anticipated Fall Movies 2018: 'A Star

    Fall Movie Preview 2018: 'Venom,' 'A Star Is Born,' 'Halloween'

    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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content