Review: He Ran All the Way

He Ran All the Way stars John Garfield in his last role.  Garfield died of coronary thrombosis at the age of 39.  Garfield was a prominent actor in the classic noir period.  Shelley Winters also stars as the female lead early in her illustrious career. Character actor Wallace Ford also appears as Winters’ father.  This film is based on a book by Sam Ross and directed by John Berry.  The film was released in 1951, five years after Garfield’s most famous role in The Post Man Always Rings Twice.

This film starts out with Garfield and his partner robbing a payroll.  They are chased and Garfield’s partner is shot.  Garfield gets away, but shoots a police officer in the process.  He escapes to a public pool and literally runs into Winters.  He quickly knows she may be his way to hide out.  They go back to her apartment where we and Garfield learn she lives with her parents and little brother.  The police officer dies and Garfield is all over the papers as the killer.  Garfield takes the family hostage while he hides out there.  Will Garfield get away with the loot?  Will Winters fall for him as they go off together to live happily ever after?  Will Garfield kill any of the members of the family before he gets away?  Will Garfield even get away?

The tension is strong for this classic and works very well.  It has a simple plot with great performances from the small cast.  This is a very good film noir worthy of any noir fan’s time.  I wish we had a few more of these films from Garfield before he left us, but we can always go back and watch The Postman Always Rings Twice and the handful of other noir films he has starred in.