Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He Ran All the Way

I briefly mentioned the Shelley Winters movie He Ran All the Way back in February 2009. I mentioned then that it hadn't been released on DVD and, apparently, it still hasn't gotten a DVD release. It's airing overnight tonight at 1:30 AM ET as part of TCM's critics' selections, and is worth a look.

John Garfield, in his final movie appearance, plays small-time criminal Nick. He and his partner Al (Norman Lloyd) take part in a heist that should net them $10,000. But, the heist goes wrong, Al gets shot and killed, and Nick has to shoot a policeman in order not to get caught himself. Nick takes refuge in a public swimming pool, where he meets Peggy Dobbs (Shelley Winters). The two hit it off, although Peggy is of course unaware that Nick is only hitting on Peggy as a means of escape.

Peggy, young and with her raging female hormones making her stupid, foolisly decides to take this complete stranger home to meet her parents. Nick, naturally, is thankful for this, as it gives him a chance at escape: he pulls his gun on them and holds them hostage while he figures out a way to get out of the city. There are some problems, though, and it's not just that the police are looking for him. These people all have to work, and if they all wind up out sick, somebody's bound to notice and ask questions. On the other hand, if they all go out, they'll tip off the cops as to Nick's whereabouts. So, Nick keeps one of them hostage at all time, until Peggy eventually agrees to help him escape.

Has she really fallen for him, Stockholm syndrome-style, or is this just an elaborate ruse to get the police to capture him? Well, the one bad thing about movies of this era is that, thanks to the Production Code, you know they can never get away with robbery. So, you know something is going to go wrong for Nick. But will it go wrong for Peggy, too?

He Ran All the Way is solid, if unspectacular entertainment. It's certainly no worse than most of the stuff that passes for entertainment on TV nowadays, and probably no more fictitious than most of the "reality" shows out there. A big shame, then, that there's not enough interest to get movies like this out on DVD.

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