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Little Fugitive

Friday, September 11 - Sunday, September 13, 2009

“At its core, this pioneering independent film from 1953 is an urban heart-warmer, but it has a fresh, gritty surface and a Grade A horror-comic hook: a seven-year-old boy (Richie Andrusco), believing that he has fatally shot his older brother, goes on the lam. The tension peaks when the boy pulls the trigger, a moment that serves to epitomize claustrophobic mean-street queasiness and keeps the rest of the film from seeming sappy. Morris Engel, the cinematographer, who shares the writing and directing credits with Ruth Orkin (his wife) and Ray Ashley, uses a handheld camera to exploit the wonders of Coney Island; the result is a lively essay on ball-toss games, pop-bottle deposits, pony rides, and human midsections of all varieties, as seen from a four-footer’s perspective. Truffaut considered the film an inspiration for the French New Wave-and no wonder. This valuable record of love and pain on the beach captures unique vignettes, like that of a pair of lovers staking out a spot on the sand, then hiding their heads under a towel as they snuggle and smooch.” – Michael Sragow, The New Yorker

Part of the series “Summer Breaks,” playing weekends at 11:00am, July 12-September 27 in our ongoing Weekend Classics program.

  • Country USA
  • Language English
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1953
  • Running Time 80 minutes
  • Distributor Orkin Photos
  • Director Ray Ashley, Morris Engel & Ruth Orkin