Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- John Garfield Films
- Shelley Winters Films
While not particularly unique in terms of narrative or characterization, this little thriller nonetheless holds a special place in HUAC-era film history: Garfield — who admitted to membership in the Community Party but refused to “name names” — died of coronory thrombosis at the age of 39, after this film’s release; many believe the stress he was under contributed to his premature death. In addition, notorious blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo co-wrote the script, which includes some zingy lines of dialogue (“Get the dandruff out of your blood!”) and a fair amount of tension. Perhaps most effective, however, is James Wong Howe’s stunning cinematography: his use of dramatic lighting and depth-of-field add visual interest to the story at all times, even when the narrative falters.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- John Garfield’s effectively paranoid portrayal as a fugitive who’s not quite sure who he can trust, but who longs to belong somewhere
- Shelley Winters as Garfield’s apprehensive love interest
- Atmospheric cinematography by James Wong Howe
- Good use of unusual New York locales
Yes, for its significance in film history.
2 thoughts on “He Ran All the Way (1951)”
A once-must, for the performances (esp. Garfield’s last), JWH’s cinematography and John Berry’s direction.
It’s true that there isn’t a whole lot that will be surprising in this film. But it’s solid work all-round and, therefore, worth a watch. Very tense throughout. The conclusion is particularly good.
Note: The year before, Berry made a 15-minute film called ‘The Hollywood Ten’, which led him to being blacklisted. The short is on YouTube.
Agree completely – a tense and compact film that (as stated) doesn’t offer surprises, but keeps on on the edge of their seat.
Great atmosphere and performances by Garfield and Winters. Garfield had a number of good performances left in him – too bad he died so abruptly.