Larry "Rain" Murphy is stuck in Folsom Prison for life on a first-degree murder charge. An inmate who prefers to be alone, Murphy spends much of his time running around the facility's track. When he begins reaching a mile in under four minutes, Murphy gains the attention of the jail's officials, who contemplate entering him in the Olympics. While Murphy is initially resistant to the idea, eventually he starts training to be an Olympic competitor.Written by
The power of this film stuns me even today. It has all the trademarks of a Michael Mann film, including the line that appears in all his works about the 'man' inventing a hard time that some character cannot handle. This may be the first time that line was used, and argueably, the most effective. Simple story of a simple man who made a decision, and had the guts to face the consequences. He never denies what he did, regrets that it happened, but would do nothing different, given the chance, nor does he try to escape the consequences. Rain Murphy is a man who denies himself all of the creature comforts of civilization. He has no TV or no photos in his cell, no books, only the essentials. He does not work as an inmate, because he denies himself the things he would use his meager pay to buy. He is punishing himself for his crime. He rejects the idea of running in the Olmypics, or even trying, because it would disrupt his new life. A life where he runs until he cannot walk, then zones out until he cannot talk stretching his muscles. A shock to Murphy's system changes all of this, he buys into the dream of competing, only to be cheated. Murphy's final act of defiance is memorable. Mann might have gotten more polished over the years, this film shows talent always delivers
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