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USA 1956
Directed by
Roy Boulting
95 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Run For The Sun

The rather superficially titled Run For the Sun is of more interest as a production than in itself. Richard Widmark and Jane Greer and were Hollywood studio players who appeared in some of the best noir films of the late 40s and early 50s such as Panic in the Streets (1950) and Pick Up On South Street (1953) and Out of the Past (1947) and The Big Steal (1949) whilst Trevor Howard who had a remarkably long career had his highwater in 1945 with the quintessentially English romance, Brief Encounter. Director Roy Boulting was a prolific English producer-director whose name, along with that of his twin brother John, graces many British films of the period whilst Dudley Nichols was one of Hollywood's leading scriptwriters with titles such as Bringing Up Baby (1938) and Stagecoach (1939) to his credit. How and why they all came together for this B grade jungle adventure romance are questions I cannot answer. The outcome, if not entirely bad, is far less effective than one might hope.

Based on a short story, 'The Most Dangerous Game', by Richard Connell which was filmed many times before and after this version, it tells the story of Mike Latimer (Richard Widmark), a best-selling author who has lost his mojo after his wife ran off with his best friend and has retired to the jungles of Mexico where he fishes all day and drinks tequila. An upmarket Manhattan journo  (Jane Greer) finds him in order to do a “Where is he how?”piece on him and the inevitable happens. She feels bad about her mercenary motives and decides to head back to the Big Apple. Mike gives her a lift in this 2 seater plane but they crash in the jungle where they are saved by an upper class Brit (Trevor Howard) who seems to be up to something dodgy.

The tacky opening credits trumpeting that the film was shot using SuperScope 235, one of the widest film processes at the time, pretty much declares the film’s aesthetic standing, although it does rise and fall around this level during proceedings. On the upside Widmark as the era typical Hemingway-esque hero and Howard as the dodgy toff do a good job. Greer on the other hand is no Bacall and has an evident inability to relate to her role either as a journo or a woman enamoured. Despite surviving a plane crash and being dragged through the jungle her scarlet lippy never gets smudged and although she dutifully flutters over Widmark’s macho antics there’s no real conviction in her supposed attraction. Throw in a bunch of stereotypes in the lesser roles and a way too glib plot resolution and the film ends up squandering its potential while remaining reasonably diverting.




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