Little Fugitive

( 3 )

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 ...
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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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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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Editorial Reviews

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: 738329063825
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 49,731

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ricky Brewster Lennie
Richie Andrusco Joey
Winifred Cushing The Mother
Tommy de Canio Charlie
Will Lee Photographer
Charlie Moss Harry
Jay Williams Pony Ride Man
Technical Credits
Ray Ashley Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Morris Engel Director, Cinematographer, Producer, Screenwriter
Ruth Orkin Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Eddy Lawrence Manson Score Composer
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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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Menu

Disc #1 -- Little Fugitive
   Play
   Chapters
   Extras
      Two Films By Mary Engel:
         Morris Engel: The Independent
            Play
            Chapters
         Ruth Orkin: Frames Of Life
            Play
      Theatrical Trailer
      Image Gallery
   Audio Setup
      Audio Commentary by Morris English: On/Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful classic full of humor and wisdom, starring another on

    Delightful classic full of humor and wisdom, starring another one of those perfect little child actors. It can be taken as documentary or drama, but in either case is exceptional. We loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A visual trip into your past

    This is not a review of the movies' technical or esoteric merits. Like many babyboomers, there are brothers born right before the war, and immediately after. Unless you came from one of those rare families always taking 8mm home movies or always snapping away with the Kodak camera, visual memories are hard to comeby. This movie takes you back to see your childhood. You see the neighborhood, the trainride to Stillwell Avenue and the Coney Island of your youth-Steeplechase and all. This movie is worth seeing if only to enhance your memories of a time gone forever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews