He Ran All the Way (1951)

This one appears to be something of a rarity on DVD, at least in the US (at any rate Allmovie couldn’t be bothered offering a DVD cover image so I got the original poster from Wikipedia). Here, of course, it’s in the MGM noir box which, yet again, offers a film MGM didn’t have anything to do with until it entered their holdings through United Artists (the DVD appears to be an actual PAL transfer rather than just a conversion from NTSC like all the other films in these noir collections, too, for what it’s worth). It’s a small film of somewhat limited means (as you might expect of an early 50s independent production), and the hostage drama plot wasn’t exactly new even then, but it carries out its tasks fairly well. It relies heavily, though, on John Garfield’s central performance for much of its effect, so it’s just as well Garfield is so good at it; he’s a two-bit punk here involved in an oddly low-key payroll heist that unsurprisingly goes wrong, forcing him to flee and finding refuge with Shelley Winters’ girl from the bakery and her family. She thinks he actually likes her, but she’ll be disabused of that notion. The relationship between the two drives a good bit of the action with a question mark overhanging the real feeling each has for the other and how the drama will resolve. Of course, now the film may be more historically interesting for the off-screen drama, being John Garfield’s last film before HUAC blacklisting (which also affected director John Berry and scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo, pseudonymous here) and early death…

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