Little Fugitive

Little Fugitive

4.6 3
Director: Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin

Cast: Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, Ricky Brewster

     
 

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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 JoeySee 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 - Amy Robinson
This unforgettable urban fable about a young boy's adventures in Coney Island is one of the first independent films to attract a wide audience. François Truffaut claimed it was an inspiration to the French New Wave, most specifically his own The 400 Blows. Shot on location with hand-held cameras and almost no budget, the style of Little Fugitive evokes both documentaries and Italian neo-realist films like The Bicycle Thief. With charm and poignancy it tells the story of seven-year-old Joey (Richie Andrusco), who runs away from his Brooklyn home to find sanctuary at the famed amusement park. First-time filmmakers Ray Ashley and Morris Engel coax amazing performances from their cast of nonactors, while capturing Coney Island's beloved landmarks -- the boardwalk, the parachute ride, the carousel -- in all their glory. Little Fugitive received the Silver Lion at the 1953 Venice Film Festival and was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1997 -- an honor befitting this unique cinematic treasure.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The Little Fugitive has often been cited as a formative influence on both the American independent film movement and the French New Wave, which is reason enough to make it worth a view. But the rarely-seen and far too little-known Fugitive would be well worth seeking out even had it not had such a "ripple" effect on other filmmakers. This is a gentle, charming masterpiece, a slice-of-life drama that deals with the everyday and the mundane yet finds a genuine poetry in it. That may make Fugitive sound pretentious, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is instead utterly engaging, a film with heart and soul yet one that doesn't devolve into the cloying manipulation so often associated with films about kids. It's a stunning yet very quiet film; if "feel good film" hadn't devolved into a cliché due to its use with far lesser films, I'd apply that label to Fugitive. Much of the film's success is due to the remarkably natural, candid and unassuming performance of little Richie Andrusco in the title role. It's a beautiful performance, free of affectation and superficiality. The filmmaking team of Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin and Ray Ashley, jointly sharing a whole range of responsibilities, meshes together into a unified whole to create a movie with a startling vividness and vivacity, rich in details and filled with gorgeously composed shots. Fugitive is tiny in scale but enormous in effect.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2008
UPC:
0738329063825
Original Release:
1953
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:20:00
Sales rank:
43,288

Special Features

Feature-length audio commentary by Morris Engel; Two Documentary Films by Mary Engel: Morris Engel: The Independent; Ruth Orkin: Frames Of Life; Theatrical Trailer; Image Gallery; Remastered from a New High-Definition Transfer

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Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Little Fugitive
1. Opening Titles [4:30]
2. Home [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. Lennie's Quest [8:10]
11. The Deluge [3:25]
12. Homecoming [1:52]
1. Biography [5:44]
2. Still Photography [3:55]
3. Little Fugitive Revisited [5:39]
4. Lovers and Weddings [5:47]
5. Engel's Influence [2:41]
6. Tributes [4:48]

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