Join us for our new family-friendly series, AFS Sunday School. We kick off the series with this film about a 7-year-old who flees to Coney Island after being tricked into believing he has killed his brother in a cap gun fight.
THE LITTLE FUGITIVE was co-directed by Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin and Ray Ashley. Engel & Morris would later marry and make two more films. Engel shot on location in Coney Island with a 35mm hand-held camera — which he designed himself — strapped to his shoulder. The film’s plot is thin, much more attention is given to the characters created by the non-professional actors. The camera work helps insert us into the action and gives us a glimpse into 1950s life in New York City, from the gritty summer streets to the wonders of Coney Island. Because of the tight budget, the filmmakers could only afford a very small crew, making it impossible to record sound on location- all sound was dubbed later in the studio–a great example of amazing foley artist work.
Francois Truffaut credited The Little Fugitive with helping to inspire the French New Wave. “Our New Wave would never have come into being, if it hadn’t been for the young American, Morris Engel who showed us the way with his production, LITTLE FUGITIVE.” Truffaut said. A few years later he would go on to make his own coming of age film about a boy who escapes to the seaside, THE 400 BLOWS.
This series will be introduced by AFS’s Sunday School guest programmer, Stacy Brick.