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Directed by Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, and Raymond Abrashkin • 1953 • United States
Starring Richie Andrusco, Richard Brewster, Winifred Cushing
One of the most influential and enchanting films of the American independent cinema, this charming, stylistically innovative fable poetically captures the joys and wonders of childhood. When seven-year-old Joey (Richie Andrusco) is tricked into believing he has killed his older brother, he gathers his meager possessions and flees to New York’s nether wonderland: Coney Island. Upon and beneath the crowded boardwalk, Joey experiences a day and night filled with adventures and mysteries, captured in a groundbreaking, semidocumentary style that is refreshingly spontaneous and thoroughly delightful. Winner of the Silver Lion at the 1953 Venice Film Festival, LITTLE FUGITIVE bursts with a freewheeling inventiveness that would go on to influence both the French New Wave (particularly François Truffaut, who cited it as a key reference for THE 400 BLOWS) and a generation of DIY American filmmakers.