Saturday Matinee: The Jericho Mile

“The Jericho Mile” (1979) is the first feature-length film directed by Michael Mann and is an adaptation of a story by Patrick Nolan. It was filmed in Folsom State Penitentiary and features Peter Strauss as Larry “Rain” Murphy, an inmate serving a life sentence for first-degree murder who is discovered by jail officials to have potential as an Olympic runner.  Though very different in many ways, the film has thematic similarities to the short story “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner” by Allan Sillitoe. Most obviously, both use the figure of an imprisoned runner to highlight individual methods of defiance against authoritarian systems.

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