Little Fugitive

A film by Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin. In English with German subtitles. 

[Credits] [Tickets & Termine] [Trailer]

Seven-year-old Joey lives in Brooklyn. When his mother goes to visit his sick grand­mo­ther, older brot­her Lennie is left to watch Joey. Babysitting ruins the 12-year-old’s plans for the day, so he enlists his fri­ends to play a prank on Joey. They give him a (toy) gun to play with and when it goes off, Lennie plays dead. Thinking he’ll be arres­ted as a mur­de­rer, Joey takes off. With six dol­lars in his pocket, he heads for Coney Island, whe­re he wan­ders the beach and goes on the rides … Using a 35mm came­ra strap­ped to his body, pho­to­grapher Morris Engel docu­ments the amu­se­ment park from the per­spec­ti­ve of his young hero. As Joey rides the carou­sel, throws a base­ball, eats cot­ton can­dy, and coll­ects depo­sit bot­t­les, the film­ma­kers use the oppor­tu­ni­ty to prof­fer up cine­ma­tic sket­ches of Americans at lei­su­re – strol­ling, flir­ting, swim­ming, and sun­bathing. As if cap­tu­red with the won­de­ring eyes of a seven-year-old, Little Fugitive casts an amu­sed and anthro­po­lo­gi­cal eye over the peo­p­le in the crowd in a mas­ter­pie­ce of black-and-white cinematography.

For the 2023 Retrospective, inter­na­tio­nal­ly renow­ned direc­tors, actors, and screen­wri­ters were asked to sel­ect their per­so­nal coming-of-age favourites.

I think Ruth Orkin’s own words and pho­to­graphs pro­vi­de an elo­quent intro­duc­tion to the won­derful film she made with Morris Engel and Raymond Abrashkin [aka Ray Ashley] back in 1953.

Wes Anderson on his sel­ec­tion: “Usually when peo­p­le in Hollywood direct their first movie it’s becau­se they’ve had expe­ri­ence in other parts of movie-making; script­wri­ting, acting, cine­ma­to­gra­phy, editing, assistant direc­tor or the thea­ter. And when they sit in the director’s chair for the first time they have a who­le expe­ri­en­ced crew to back them up. We had only our inex­pe­ri­en­ced sel­ves.
We couldn’t have made the movies if we hadn’t been pho­to­graph­ers first”.


US 1953, 75 Min., engl. OmU
Regie: Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin
Kamera: Morris Engel
Schnitt: Ruth Orkin, Lester Troob
mit: Richard Brewster, Winnifred Cushing, Jay Williams, Will Lee, Charley Moss, Tommy DeCanio, Richie Andrusco

nach oben