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He Ran All the Way (1951)

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The uptight and dumb small time thief Nick Robey and his partner and only friend Al Molin steal $10,000.00 from a man, but the heist goes wrong. Al Molin is killed by a policeman and Nick ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Fred Dobbs
Selena Royle ...
Mrs. Dobbs
Tommy Dobbs (as Bobby Hyatt)
Vici Raaf ...
Keith Hetherington ...
Capt. of Detectives
Robert Karnes ...
Police Lieutenant


The uptight and dumb small time thief Nick Robey and his partner and only friend Al Molin steal $10,000.00 from a man, but the heist goes wrong. Al Molin is killed by a policeman and Nick shoots him in the spine. He hides out in a public swimming pool and meets the lonely spinster Peggy Dobbs in the water. Nick uses Peggy to lie low. He offers a ride in a taxi to her and she invites him to her apartment, where she introduces her family to him. When Nick discovers that he killed the cop, he decides to use Peggy's apartment as hideout to wait the police manhunt cool down. When Nick finds that Peggy loves him, he invites her to leave town with him and asks her to buy a used car. However, Nick cannot trust anybody and believes Peggy has betrayed him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


DYNAMITE hits the screen with their kind of love!


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Release Date:

19 June 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Menace dans la nuit  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of John Garfield. See more »


When Molin meets up with Robey, Molin says he's been waiting for Robey at Lombardi's, and then tells Robey to explain his "bad dream" after they get to Lombardi's. After a cut to the two drinking in a bar, they get up to leave and the sign above the door clearly shows they're in "Sam's Cafe." See more »


Al Molin: Get the dandruff out of your blood!
See more »


Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

John Garfield Runs All the Way
2 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This strange entry in the noir canon features John Garfield delivering a sweaty, paranoid performance as a small-time crook who shoots a cop during a heist gone bad and then holes up with the family of a girl he meets and desperately latches himself on to (Shelley Winters). He virtually takes the family hostage, threatening to kill whichever member he has with him at the time if any of the other members try to seek help. Meanwhile, a game of patriarchal dominance begins between Garfield and the father, whose sense of masculinity is threatened by his inability to help his family. It all leads to a showdown in the street as Garfield attempts to run away with Winters, who may or may not have genuine feelings for him.

"He Ran All the Way" is more about the dynamics of family than anything else. In the first scene, we see what kind of home life Garfield's character comes from. His blowsy mom (played divinely by Gladys George, who has far too little screen time) verbally and physically abuses him, and then refuses to come to his aid later on when he's in trouble. As a result, Garfield tries to make a sort of surrogate family of the one he's taken hostage, attempting to establish a twisted kind of domestic tranquility, with himself as father figure. The most unsettling scene transpires at a family dinner, when Garfield forces the family at gunpoint to eat the meal he's prepared for them.

Throughout the film, Garfield acts with a desperate intensity you can practically smell. Unlike all of those cooler than cool crooks who populate the worlds of other noir films, Garfield is lousy as a criminal; his own paranoia and panic give him away at moments when he otherwise wouldn't be in any danger. Shelley Winters plays his love interest as a dowdy mope, the second time that year (see "A Place in the Sun") she played a frump who meets a good-looking lad and then regrets it. Wallace Ford and Selena Royle do the honors as mom and dad.

"He Ran All the Way" is not one of the more ambitious entries in the noir cycle, but like so many of the lurid, low-budget films that came out around this fertile period in cinema history, it has fascinating undertones that belie its simple plot.

With crisp photography by James Wong Howe and a propulsive, sensational score by that old pro Franz Waxman.

Grade: A-

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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