Sunday, April 13, 2008

Me Mini Movie Reviews: He Ran All The Way (1951)

Last night I was flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, and came across a black and white movie on TMC. It looked interesting right away, and I thought it might be a film noir I probably hadn't heard of. Turns out I was watching the 1951 movie, He Ran All The Way starring John Garfield and Shelley Winters.

I came in close to the beginning with Garfield's character, Nick Robey getting insulted by his mother. This guy didn't have a happy life, one could tell right away, and was probably going to go do something stupid to improve it. He figured he was smarter than he was, and went to join a buddy for a payroll heist worth $10,000. Well, as could be predicted, it all went pear shaped for the criminal duo and Nick winds up with the money and on the run. He is not the calmest guy under pressure, and keeps moving to stay in front of the cops. A chance encounter at a swimming pool leads him to Peggy Dobbs, a somewhat naive but pretty girl played by Shelley Winters. Some awkward conversation later, and he winds up escorting her home. This is where the bulk of the movie takes place, as Nick is introduced to Peggy's family and figures he has a place to hide out for a while. Unfortunately, his paranoia starts to get the better of him and he makes a crucial mistake leading to him forcing the family hostage while he waits for things to calm down out on the streets so he can get away. Who makes it out from there is the question.

This was apparently John Garfield's last film before dying very young from heart problems. He does an excellent job as the paranoid Nick slowly spiraling out of control while really just looking for a place to belong with people who would love him. He's in almost every scene and carries the movie forward towards it's inevitable conclusion. Garfield portrays a character that the audience can almost sympathize with. Nick really just wants a better life and love, but goes about it in just about every wrong way possible. Shelley Winters as Peggy comes across as the naive victim at the beginning, but as it goes along has you wondering if she is scheming a way out or developing Stockholm Syndrome. The ending makes it clear, but it's a well played progression. The other family members are excellent as well, playing increasingly desperate individuals who will have to make hard choices to get away.

Overall, it was a quite enjoyable movie that sucked me in and had me watching right through to the end to see how it played out. Once again, the old movies show how it's done - no need for fancy computerized graphics, just a solid story with good acting.

Verdict: Recommended.

Comments on "Me Mini Movie Reviews: He Ran All The Way (1951)"


Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (April 14, 2008 1:44 PM) : 

This movie sounds vaguely familiar, like I may have seen it several years ago. I'll have to visit the local video store and see it there's a copy available.

Another noir-ish film I've rediscovered (watched it when I was a kid) is "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers". A bit over the top in some spots, but it marks the film debut of Kirk Douglas.


Blogger The Texican said ... (April 14, 2008 6:03 PM) : 

Amazing how good some of the old stuff can be. Glad you're posting again. Come by when you can.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (April 15, 2008 4:28 AM) : 

@Keanan: I'll have to look up "Strange Love of Martha Ivers". I've heard of it as a good noir, but haven't seen it yet. There are so many old movies for me to check out :)

@Texican: Love the old black and white movies. Just seem to be better from back when.


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