BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will be releasing the soundtrack for THE RUNNER STUMBLES for the first time, featuring music composed by Ernest Gold for the 1979 dramatic film directed by the great Stanley Kramer based on the play written by Milan Stitt and starring Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, Maureen Stapleton, Ray Bolger, Tammy Grimes, Beau Bridges and Allen Nause.
Based on Milan Stitt’s 1976 Broadway play, which was in turn based on an actual 1919 murder trial, THE RUNNER STUMBLES features comedian Dick van Dyke, in his second dramatic role as Father Rivard, a priest of a Roman Catholic parish in rural Solona, Michigan who, as the movie begins, is jailed for the murder of Sister Rita (Quinlan), a young nun who arrived recently to help run the parish’s school. Rivard and Sister Rita are drawn together in friendship and, against their own better judgment, eventually fall in love. This conflict between their vows and between Father Rivard and his diocese Monsignor Nicholson (Bolger), not to mention Rita’s murder and Rivard being charged for the crime, form the crux of the story. Maureen Stapleton plays Rivard’s housekeeper and cook Mrs. Shandig, whose own feelings for Rivera are kept well suppressed until she overhears Rita’s declaration of love to the priest.
Gold’s music for THE RUNNER STUMBLES is as earnest as the lead characters’ compulsion toward doing what is proper, and as passionate as their refusal to deny their feelings for one another. The main theme is treated with sublime elegance and orchestral poignancy. A second recurring theme is the tune introduced in “My Rumble Seat Gal,” an authentic-sounding early 20th Century Dixieland-styled song written by Gold with lyrics by Jeanette Keller. As Rivard and Rita’s attempts to keep their feelings in check and their behavior proper, the tone of the music turns darker.
1 The Runner Stumbles Main Title 1:53
2 When Did She Arrive?/The Tour 4:26
3 Solon Evangelical Methodist 0:26
4 My Rumble Seat Gal 1:04
5 Flowers 1:01
6 Visiting the Webbers 2:55
7 Sister Rita's Idea 0:39
8 What about your responsibility to the Children? 1:25
9 Living Arrangements 2:11
10 Coming in Sisters 3:36
11 Monsignor Nicholson Arrives/I Sleep in the Convent 2:27
12 Do You Want Me to Leave? 1:51
13 I love You Sister 0:45
14 Praying with Erna 1:24
15 The Confessional 0:55
16 Your Sins Are Forgiven 2:58
17 There's Nothing Human About You! 0:53
18 The Letter and the Fire 4:20
19 Rita Declares Her Love for Father Brian 4:40
20 Mrs. Shandig's Confession/Peace Be With You Father/End Credits 6:31
THE RUNNER STUMBLES is a limited edition release of 1500 units.