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Courage (1984)

Marathon runners are taken captive in desert by right-wing militia.


Robert L. Rosen


Mary Cox, Ronny Cox


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronny Cox ... Pete Canfield
Art Hindle ... Roger Bower
M. Emmet Walsh ... Colonel Crouse
Tim Maier Tim Maier ... Craig Jensen
Lois Chiles ... Ruth
William Russ ... Sonny
Lisa Sutton Lisa Sutton ... Stephanie
Brian Curry Brian Curry ... Joey
Jeff Curry Jeff Curry ... Bill
Anthony Palmer Anthony Palmer ... Herb Jensen
Noel Conlon Noel Conlon ... Clay Matthews
Kelly Yaegermann Kelly Yaegermann ... Casey
John Roselius ... Ralph
Joe Massengale Joe Massengale ... Gibbs
Matt Johnston Matt Johnston ... Jessup


A trio of long-distance runners are setting out on what looks to be the ultimate adventure weekend: a seventy-two mile run through the New Mexico desert. Things start off uneventfully, but soon the three run into a survivalist militia calling itself The Citizen's Brigade. They are captured by The Brigade, only to be released with a warning from the leader, Colonel Crouse. Their luck runs out when suddenly the militia goes back on its word and resumes hunting the runners. This time, however, they are not looking to capture them, but to kill them. What are these desert soldiers trying to do? And will the three live to run another marathon? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 November 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Heat See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

"Those guys are really scary".
30 December 2018 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

How's this for an opening; Ronny Cox's dunking his fingers in vaseline jelly then slapping it on between his toes. If that doesn't get you pumped... well, next we see Art Hindle putting a shirt on...in slow motion with fluttering synth music. Now that I got you hooked. The story follows three marathon runners in the New Mexican desert being tormented at first by a fanatical group of motorbike-riding survival wannabe militants (the type that don't like the phrase "playing soldiers"), then after a fatal incident between the two groups, these runners have to fight for their lives if they want to reach the finish line.

"RAW COURAGE" is your systematic, but extremely well-made and gripping survival thriller in the tradition of "DELIVERANCE" and "RITUALS". There's no beating around the bush, yet in some ways I think it matches those films with its tight build-up, well-rounded characters, impactful emotions and exhausting suspense. For Ronny Cox, he's no stranger to this, as obviously starring in "DELIVERANCE", he co-writes the story and even gets into a beat-down with the crackpot militant leader played by M. Emmet Walsh, who at one stage grabs Cox by the scrotum. All's fair in love and war, I guess.

We watch these men, fighting dehydration, drenched in sweat, covered in dirt reverting to primal instincts, but at the same time never letting their humanity become forgotten. It's a true testament of survival of the fittest, as they are pushed to the limit, emotionally and psychically by the surrounding elements and what's in front of them. Where upon every encounter the tension and vulnerability builds. And for that, I do like the low-key (if predictable) ending, which gives you a chance to catch your breath.

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