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The Runner Stumbles (1979)
Year, country:
Stanley Kramer
Dick Van Dyke Kathleen Quinlan Maureen Stapleton
1h 49m

"The Runner Stumbles" is a 1979 drama film directed by Stanley Kramer, based on the Broadway play of the same name by Milan Stitt. The film is a courtroom drama with elements of romance and mystery. Here's a brief description:

Plot:Set in the early 20th century, the story revolves around Father Rivard, played by Dick Van Dyke, a Catholic priest assigned to a small parish in a remote Michigan town. Father Rivard becomes involved with a young nun, Sister Rita (Kathleen Quinlan). The relationship between Father Rivard and Sister Rita raises eyebrows within the conservative community, leading to gossip and speculation.

When Sister Rita is found dead, the local authorities, represented by prosecutor Toby Felker (Maureen Stapleton), suspect foul play and charge Father Rivard with murder. The narrative unfolds through a series of flashbacks and courtroom scenes as the trial attempts to uncover the truth behind Sister Rita's death.

Themes:"The Runner Stumbles" explores themes of faith, morality, and the complexities of human relationships. The film delves into the challenges faced by individuals who choose a life of religious service and the societal expectations that come with such commitments.

Cast:In addition to Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, and Maureen Stapleton, the film features supporting performances from Michael O'Keefe, Ray Bolger, and Beau Bridges.

Reception:The film received mixed reviews upon its release, with some praise for the performances but criticism for the adaptation of the stage play to the screen. The courtroom drama and the exploration of moral dilemmas were points of interest for some viewers.

If you enjoy courtroom dramas with themes of morality and complex relationships, "The Runner Stumbles" might be worth exploring. Keep in mind that the film has a theatrical and stage-like quality, reflecting its origins as a play.