Sent to the Ruxton Towers for robbing a bakery, Nottingham teenager Colin Smith thinks back on his dead-end life while training for the cross-country race against a nearby public school that is the over-riding preoccupation of the borstal's governor.
Indeed, Michael Redgrave and the debuting Tom Courtenay are excellent. Moreover, there's still a relevant sting in Sillitoe's tale. It's provocative and enjoyable, but not a classic.
Reviewed by Patrick Peters
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