Essential Cinema: The Original Indies: The Birth of American Independent Cinema


Directed by Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, and Ray Ashley

USA, 1953, 1h 20min, DCP

Essential Cinema  The Original Indies: The Birth of American Independent Cinema

There are no current or future screenings planned for this film.

“A riotously funny view of humanity.”
New York News

“A missing link in the history of modern cinema, a small, unexpected islet, midway between the first wave of Italian neo-realism and the future French New Wave. Between European modernity and the upcoming independent American cinema. LITTLE FUGITIVE, like OPEN CITY, like BREATHLESS, is one of these precarious films which made cinema move in a radical way.”
Cahiers du Cinéma

“Our New Wave would never have come into being if it hadn’t been for Morris Engel’s fine movie LITTLE FUGITIVE. It showed us the way.”
—François Truffaut

Tricked into believing he killed his older brother, seven-year-old Joey flees to Coney Island and finds refuge in boardwalk delights, cotton candy, and pony rides. With a 35mm camera strapped to his body, Morris Engel captures the world as a big adventure through the eyes of the boy. A coming-of-age classic and favorite of François Truffaut and Wes Anderson, this winning little picture from photographers Engel, Ruth Orkin, and Ray Ashley went on to win the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and play nearly 5,000 theaters in its US theatrical run.