Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, August 15, 2008


RUN FOR THE SUN (1956). Director: Roy Boulting.

Although this will probably hold your attention if you're unfamiliar with earlier versions, this is a fairly lamentable remake of the far superior Most Dangerous Game. Whereas the first film got us right into the action, this variation takes forever to get to the main event, with a protracted sequence wherein Jane Greer plays a magazine reporter trying to find out why famous writer Michael Latimer (Richard Widmark) vanished to Mexico when he was at the top of his game. After an hour or so of this, Widmark offers to fly Greer out of the village he's buried himself in but they crash land in an even more remote area where Trevor Howard and Peter van Eyck have taken up residence. The bad guys in this picture don't actually hunt humans as the villain did in The Most Dangerous Game -- stripping this version of the story's most interesting aspect -- they just don't want Widmark and Greer to get away knowing their secret (which isn't much anyway, although one can understand why they don't want their uninvited guests going off and telling anyone). The scene when the plane nearly crashes is well done, but the climactic chase is slack and unexciting. Roy Boulting was never a good choice to direct thrillers; years later he made a botch of Twisted Nerve. Jane Greer radiates her usual refined sexiness and Widmark, while never a great actor, is full of his usual insolent authority. Trevor Howard is merely wasted in a throwaway part. The music is okay but the widescreen cinematography is unimpressive. It all looks like it was shot on a back lot anyway.

Verdict: Watch The Most Dangerous Game instead. **.


Pekkala said...

I totally agree. With that cast, the film could have offered so much more excitement. That said, I love Trevor Howard in anything, he makes even rubbish watcheable.

William said...

Yes, it's too bad the script wasn't up to Howard's level. This could have been such a knock-out movie and instead it's just a drag.