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

Thursday, June 7, 2012


WOMAN ON THE RUN (1950). Director: Norman Foster.

"I'm not a bad guy when you get to know me. A little obnoxious, but pleasant."

Police contact a bitter woman, Eleanor Johnson (Ann Sheridan), when her husband, Frank (Ross Elliott), witnesses a murder in San Francisco and runs off instead of going into protective custody. Eleanor learns that Frank, who is a painter and sculptor, has a heart condition and needs medicine, and tries to track him down with the help of a reporter, Dan Legget (Dennis O'Keefe) and without alerting the cops, who want to find him. As they search for him in various places, Eleanor begins to realize that maybe her husband still loves her, and she him. But Dan has a secret of his own. Well directed and edited, this is an entertaining, fast-paced little "B" film with snappy performances from Sheridan and O'Keefe, and fine support from Robert Keith as Inspector Ferris. One could argue that it's hard to sympathize with Frank, and by extension Eleanor, when the couple refuse to do their civic duty, although their fear is nevertheless understandable. There's a nice climax at an amusement park. A good scene has Eleanor remarking that Ferris and Legget seem to think they know more about her husband than the woman who was married to him for years. Unusual storyline helps put this over and it's rather well-done all told.

Verdict: Highly interesting film noir that just misses being really special, but is still solid. ***.   

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