Reviews for The Jericho Mile ( 1979 ) 720p

Watched this when I was in grade 9

By: shirinm
While all the other students watched a made for tv movie called Sooner or Later with Rex Smith and Denise Miller I was fortunate enough to watch this on the same weekend with my dad.Well made well acted, to pull on the heartstrings film. I heard it was even released theatrically in Europe and is was better than most of the films out that year. Peter Strauss does an amazing job as well as the rest of the cast. You cannot help but love Strauss' character and route for him all the way. Not only one of the best movies made for tv but for me also great memories with my dad.

Hard To Find, But a Solid Need-To-See Running Film

By: RbDeraj
I have always had some fascination with prison movies about wrongly convicted men. As I am also an avid runner and an enthusiast of the sport of running, this little flick combined both in great way. The overall quality of the film and acting was much better than I expected from a T.V. movie from the late seventies. The actual portrayal of running seemed accurate to me, unlike some sports films who falter in that main emphasis area. The music (mainly The Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil"), seventies hair and mustaches just gave it a sleek and stylish look. The story was inspirational and exciting but seemed a little anticlimactic in the end. Still an enjoyable solid running film, I only wish I could have seen it in better quality as this is a very hard to find title.

The Jericho Mile (1979)

By: MartinTeller
You can see a few blossoming Mann-erisms in this early TV movie. The stoic, loner hero with nothing left to lose, the use of popular music (in this case, instrumental knock-offs of Rolling Stones tunes). What's lacking is any sense of style. Blame it on the limitations of television productions at the time, but the whole thing feels really flat. The performances are terrible (even Dennehy) and the dialogue is a joke. It all seems so clich├ęd and silly and strikes the wrong dramatic tones. When you're laughing at a drop-dead serious scene of someone getting shanked, there's a problem. And because the grittiness is watered down by television restrictions, it feels like a community theater version of prison life. And the less said about the tacked-on racial tension subplot, the better. In the lead, Peter Strauss does a pretty good job but even he has some lemon moments (like the outburst in the counselor's office). I don't think Mann's necessarily at fault for the film's failures, there aren't a whole lot of good TV movies from the 70's. Two years later, he'd make THIEF, my favorite by him.

the Jericho mile is a great movie and this is what i have to say.

By: mcarter1945
i love watching the Jericho mile. i mean watching peter Strauss run the mile is like watching usain bolt sprint the 100 meter. i think peter Strauss is a excellent actor and should do another running movie. he is lightning fast has great energy and can run a mile in under 4 minutes and that my friend is amazing. no man alive can out race rain Murphy i mean the man runs 80 mile a week no one does that but him. i've watched the Jericho mile 100's of times and will watch it 100's more. great movies get watched more than movies that are not. i thank the makers of this film for giving years of there lives to make it.they are great people and i bless them all.thank you for letting me get my word out again thank you all.

Nicely judged prison thriller showing Mann's already-mature sense of stylistic realism

By: Framescourer
A very interesting film when examining the canon of Michael Mann. It has two very clear issues embedded in it: one textural - the realism of shooting in Folsom, with inmates in 'role'; and one of content (and Mann's chief preoccupation) - the protagonist trying to define what's right and therefore himself. Peter Strauss does a very good job of Murphy who's forced into a choice over his emergent talent. Around him is small ensemble of top actors (and Mann regulars - he casts loyally) who absorb, channel and highlight the discreet threat in day-to-day incarceration. Dennehy is particularly effective as a wickedly self- assured white supremacist.

The little clumsiness that one sees in the production is entirely a dated issue. The film is genuinely gripping, visually and in its editing. Even the rather rudimentary music is effectively used. I felt that Mann doesn't help his own script with some of his shot decisions which can be distracting. Equally the script is a bit thin. Apart from the early dramatic set up when Murphy's friend Stiles gets set up (and thus creates the dramatic lever by which Murphy feels he has to run) the relations of other characters in the jail are not explored. Still I was pleased not to have been patronised by easy psychology or in-screen exposition. This or all, perhaps, emerges as typifying Mann's films: they're grown-up. 6/10

Absolutely superlative and does not become dated

By: DottoreHolliday
A film that deserved theatrical release. This made-for-television movie is a cinematic gem that exemplifies the technique of Michael Mann with stirring contemporary music tightly integrated to the visual images. Always with Mr. Mann, the amplification of impact by the music is almost as if there is an invisible academy-award-winning actor added to the ensemble of cast, writer, director and cinematographer.

This film is definitely one of my all time favorites. While nothing is perfect, this film comes very, very close.

Along with an excellent script, great direction and masterful acting by Richard Strauss, there is an all-star ensemble of character actors at their finest: Roger Mosely; Brian Dennehy; Ed Lauter; Geoffrey Lewis; Richard Moll; Miguel Pinero; William Prince; Burton Guilliam; Ji-Tu Cumbuka; Richard Lawson and Billy Green Bush. You may not recognize the names, but you will recognize every face.

If this comes on TV, sit down with popcorn, turn up the sound for an amazing soundtrack and score, and prepare to be riveted for the 97 minutes of the film. I highly recommend recording it, since it is only available on VHS and DVD from Holland and the DVD is region 2 encoded.

Run Baby Run

By: shawnschmelzle
The first time I saw this film I was a kid. I was ten years old when it was released but since my family never went to movie theaters I saw it on Network TV. I remember watching it alone?and crying afterward. It was only the second film to illicit that response (Rocky was the first) and there haven't been many since. I can't say why exactly; Larry "Rain" Murphy didn't deserve to win any more that Rocky Balboa or anyone else. I know I admired Murphy, not so much for what he did, but for the way he did his time. Stoic. He didn't need a stopwatch or freedom to find dignity. He ran because he could. He needed no other reason. I have a rule today, that when I see this film late at night on cable television (the only time most will come across it) I must watch, no matter what I have to do the next morning. Fortunately it doesn't play often like Shawshank Redemption or other favorites, so I still get plenty of sleep and I never tire of the story of one man's unrepentant imprisonment and personal victory.

Unforgettable...!!!!

By: jackshawII
I watch a lot of movies - DVD, features, and classics, you name it. The night I watched JERICHO MILE, my wife (who had ordered it on the internet) said she remembered it from when she was in high school, that it had stayed with her all of these years. Somewhat reluctantly I sat down (with our daughter & son), and was riveted from the opening sequence to the end titles. We all were.

She, who remembered the original, and our kids (18 and 16) who had no idea what the movie was about couldn't believe it. Our favorite scene? Bar none, when peter Strauss so passionately bangs his fist down and says, "i'd do it AGAIN!". It didn't advocate violence because it was a defense crime, but evoked such intensity we couldn't believe it...when his fellow cell mates gave him their food in support of his efforts, there wasn't a dry eye in our house.

Someone please make more movies like this one. UNBELIEVABLE!!

Best Film ever made!!!!

By: Twi777
I read on the web that this film is being remade into a theatrical feature. Finally!!!!! It's about time Hollywood got their act together. The big Studios always frown at edgy material, with Oscar written all over it. Go figure!!

JERICHO MILE was made ahead of it's time. It's a masterpiece.

Michael Mann, a true visionary, found a way to engage an audience without overindulgence. Peter Strauss' Emmy award performance is probably the best character role I've seen in my film-viewing lifetime. Any actor who touches this role will never be the same (unless an Academy Award is already sitting on their mantle).

The gritty multi ethnic ensemble, a backdrop for THE JERICHO MILE makes one understand the delicate social dynamics of our world. This is about redemption without public validation, and the power of the human spirit overcoming all barriers. Imagine a convict imprisoned since he was a teenager for life with no chance of parole, that doesn't know he is possibly the fastest runner in the world. ...what would you do??

This movie makes you walk away feeling you haven't been cheated on any level. Totally thrilling, engaging, emotional, and a "Rolling Stones" soundtrack that kick's ass!!!

I always thought this would be made for the big screen... Can't wait...!!! In the meantime I'll have to continue re-watching my weathered VHS copy I've had for many years.

When they take away your dreams, take them back

By: MichaelMovieLoft
I watched the this the other night on a local station because I didn't feel like watching tripe like 'American Idol'. Peter Strauss gives a great performance as a convict named 'Rain' Murphy who keeps to himself. He admits to his crime and makes no bones that he feels no shame for it. His cell is bare of any comforts that other inmates have like books and pictures. The only time he feels in another zone is in running. He does it often and can run a mile in under four minutes. When a college coach hears about this, he wants to prime him for a shot at the Olympics. At first, 'Rain' wants no part of this, but when his best friend is killed, he shows interest.

This is a good movie, period. Strauss is very good (What did you expect, anything less?) and Michael Mann shows hints of greatness that would come full bloom years later. This movie had that bit of realism (probably because it was filmed among convicts). It almost feels like this was a true story. The additional casting is good. There is a lot of notable names like Brian Dennehy, Roger E. Mosley, and Richard Moll as well.

My heart sank when some pompous board of directors wouldn't let him run because he didn't feel bad for his crime. His final act made me stand up and cheer. When they took his dreams away, he took them back hard. This was back when TV movies were actually good. 'The Jericho Mile' is a gem of a film. ESPN Classic, PLEASE SHOW THIS FILM!!!

great film, not common enough

By: awatters1
An interesting and involved film about a "lifer" just trying to live out his days peacefully. Elements of the main character appear in Michael Mann's later films, like Thief (1981), Heat (1995), and so on. You can see this one at the UCLA Instructional Media Laboratory-- one of the only places in the country that has copies readily available to the public. It's a great one!

A Very Food Film

By: abcceo
I have seen the Jericho Mile many times during the past 13 years. It is a very good film that strongly survives the passage of time.

My life's experiences as a champion miler and studies of the prison system confirms the validity of the movie. Racism is one of the major elements of prison life, along with basic food, and very limited medical attention and exercise. Running is one of the only available exercises that would be allowed in the prison environment. The only questionable statement made by the movie is "can a man on a prison diet achieve world record time in the mile run" When I ran and set the Georgia High School Mile record, diet was very important to a runner.

Prisons would not allow special diet. Be assured, the movie is real, and Peter Strauss gives a great performance of a man tormented by his own demons. Believe the movie. That's the way it is...

My favorite prison movie.

By: wayne-2
I really enjoyed this movie - I like prison movies in general (I'm not sure why -- I'm sure some shrink could make something out of it!) I spent one night in jail more than 20 years ago, and I knew then I would never go back - I got the individual version of "scared straight"! (I did get locked up in an isolation cell on Alcatraz for a couple of hours, compliments of a park ranger, but that's another story!) Anyway, the genre really interests me. The soundtrack, specifically "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones, was the perfect backdrop for the film. To this day, I think of "The Jericho Mile" every time I hear the song.

If you like speed, you'll love this!

By: Sonatine97
I would have totally forgotten about this film had it not been for the fact that I was originally going to review James Caan in Thief. And noticed purely by accident that Michael Mann had directed both.

Peter Strauss plays perhaps his best, certainly his most energetic role to date. Facing a term in a hard prison for murder his only real freedom is running...around a track!

This gets noticed by the prison sports coach and after a few scrapes & dramas he finds he is able to compete in the Olympics, only to be refused by the prison board unless he admits to his crime.

A very simple, but moving film, of a man's fight for justice and to live out his passion for the track. The cinematography is quite good although perhaps lingers a little too long on the slow mo shots of Strauss's sinewy body as he runs around the track.

But the upbeat music goes hand in hand with the story, although there is perhaps too much pathos in-between. The story gets sidetracked with social issues such as prison racism & violence, which to be honest we've seen elsewhere in other prison movies and so isn't really needed here.

We also get to see glimpses of Mann's directing - the style found in his latter films such as Thief & Heat can just be seen in development here, but everything is very much understated & conservative which being a TV movie on a limited budget meant he probably wasn't allowed to explore & experiment.

A good upbeat movie with a main message of hope & freedom lying from within, but which becomes muddled with too much political correctness.

***/*****

see this one!

By: karsal
This is a great movie. The best role Peter Strauss ever did. The music is good, the message harsh, the actors great and the story is both emotional and raw. Only in the seventies did they make them like this one!

I've never given a movie a 10 out of 10 before...

By: Mudflap
I've never given a movie a ten out of ten before but this is the closest I have ever come (I gave it a 9). There are very few movies that I truly love, this however is one of them. With it's gritty realism, fantastic on-site locationing, and it's great soundtrack it literally blew my young mind when I first saw it in 1979. At that point I didn't know about prisons, violence, racial tensions, or the struggle to survive & live free. I doubt that anyone who is an adult, or for that matter anyone who is growing up in todays world could be impacted by this film in the same way I was all those years ago, but I will say this: "if you haven't seen this movie I envy you"; this is because you have the chance to see this great film for the frist time. For each of us they're different, but here's to the rarest movies of them all: the ones we actually love...

Strauss is convincing in an otherwise confusing TV movie.

By: emm
THE JERICHO MILE scores a qualifying time for presenting a determined Peter Strauss who gives this one a good amount of stamina. His role is an inmate who has the love and desire for running. In a prison world filled with intolerance, he wants a chance to return to society again by changing his ways and become an Olympic hopeful. This must be a cross between CHARIOTS OF FIRE and the cult classic PENITENTIARY, and while it has its own variety of moments, the film is better off confused by focusing heavy on racial violence and rapid-fire tensions. It should have greatly kept up with showcasing the spirit of "flying high" into the wide open spaces. Otherwise, a good and honest effort in displaying harsh prison life to the screen, but don't expect much in terms of hope and glory.
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