Films of Morris Engel

Films of Morris Engel

Director: Mary Engel, Ray Ashley

Cast: Mary Engel, Morris Engel, Ray Ashley, Ruth Orkin

     
 

A lyrical serio-comedy from the writing/directing team of Ray Ashley, Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin, The Little Fugitive stars young Richie Andrusco as Joey Norton, a seven-year-old Brooklynite left in the care of his 12-year-old brother Lennie (Ricky Brewster). Finding the boy to be a constant annoyance, Lennie and his friends devise a plan to make Joey…  See more details below

Overview

A lyrical serio-comedy from the writing/directing team of Ray Ashley, Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin, The Little Fugitive stars young Richie Andrusco as Joey Norton, a seven-year-old Brooklynite left in the care of his 12-year-old brother Lennie (Ricky Brewster). Finding the boy to be a constant annoyance, Lennie and his friends devise a plan to make Joey mistakenly believe that he has killed his brother; the prank is successful, and a frightened Joey flees for the fantasy-world refuge of Coney Island. A lost classic waiting to be rediscovered, The Little Fugitive was highly acclaimed upon its initial release, scoring an Oscar nomination for "Best Screenplay" as well as sharing a Silver Lion award at the 1953 Venice Film Festival alongside such legendary fare as Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu Monogatari. Shot on an extremely low budget, the film's innovative use of hand-held cameras and staccato editing techniques establish a rough-and-tumble, documentary-like edge perfectly attuned to its incisive, realistic treatment of childhood wonderment and fear.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
The name Morris Engel may not be synonymous with the French New Wave, but according to no less an authority than director François Truffaut, Engel was an essential progenitor of the cinematic movement. Little Fugitive, Engel's independent feature of 1953, provided a virtual blueprint for what an outside-the-Hollywood establishment film could achieve; a work born of personal will and vision whose individuality wasn’t lost on the aspiring directors of Paris or such maverick American independents as John Cassavetes. A virtually plotless tale of a seven-year-old who runs away from his New York apartment to roam throughout Coney Island, Little Fugitive benefits from charmingly unselfconscious performances from its young leads and Engel’s documentary-styled direction. His camera seems to follow, rather than lead, the precocious protagonist as he weaves his way through the massive crowds thronging the beach, partaking of the amusement park attractions and interacting with the carnies that line the streets. (Truffaut fans will recognize specific references to Little Fugitive throughout his 1959 debut, The 400 Blows.) Not least of the film’s wonders is its time capsule quality. The Coney Island of the early '50s is brought back to life in all its wonderful, tawdry glory. Keep your Disney fantasy lands -- Coney, as Engel well knew, was the real thing.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2008
UPC:
0738329060923
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
4:04:00

Special Features

Feature length audio commentary by Morris Engel; Two documentary films by Mary Engel: Morris Engel: The Independent (2008, 28 min)/Ruth Orkin: Frames of Life (1995, 18 min.); Theatrical trailer; Image gallery; Remastered from a New High-Definition Transfer

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Little Fugitive
1. Opening Titles [4:30]
2. Homes [7:29]
3. A Real Gun [6:34]
4. Coney Island [8:45]
5. The Spree [11:17]
6. The Beach [11:19]
7. Pony Rides [5:20]
8. A New Day [3:19]
9. The Corral [5:18]
10. Leenie's Quest [8:10]
11. The Deluge [3:25]
12. Homecoming [1:52]
Disc #2 -- Lovers and Lollipops/Weddings and Babies
1. Opening Titles [6:11]
2. The Day at the Museum [10:07]
3. Sightseeing [9:37]
4. Dream House [8:23]
5. Getting Comfortable [9:10]
6. Bigger Plans [3:39]
7. Hide and Seek [6:44]
8. On the Beach [8:18]
9. In a Mood [9:05]
10. Getting Sore [4:38]
11. Man About Town [2:55]
12. Reconciliation [3:05]
1. Opening Titles [4:15]
2. Little Tony [5:48]
3. Enough Headaches [5:02]
4. Street Festival [3:02]
5. Mama [8:08]
6. Where She Belongs [4:02]
7. The New Camera [6:55]
8. Taking Leave [7:52]
9. Happy Birthday [11:32]
10. Mama's Quest [7:04]
11. The Cemetery [9:06]
12. Without Bea [5:26]

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