Little Fugitive (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Family  |  16 December 1953 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,501 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 28 user | 43 critic | 4 from

A young boy fears that he shot his older brother, who is only faking. He then runs away to Coney Island, a crowded beach area, and gets money by returning soda bottles for their deposits.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Herbie, the Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, is racing in the Monte Carlo Rally. Unbeknownst to Herbie's driver, thieves have hidden a cache of stolen diamonds in Herbie's gas tank, and are now trying to get them back.

Director: Vincent McEveety
Stars: Dean Jones, Don Knotts, Julie Sommars
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse
Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier
Yoyo (1965)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man has everything: dozens of servants, a palace, vast woods, gardens, a lake, mechanical toys, private entertainment troupes of musicians and dancers. He has it all - but love. When ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Étaix
Stars: Pierre Étaix, Claudine Auger, Philippe Dionnet
Kes (1969)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young, English working-class boy spends his free time caring for and training his pet falcon.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: David Bradley, Brian Glover, Freddie Fletcher
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew.

Directors: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence
Camellia (1998)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Camellia is the true story of a 2-year-old and her development. It follows her daily life and captures all her family's activities and their relationships with her and the people in her life.

Director: Morris Engel


Complete credited cast:
Richard Brewster ...
Winifred Cushing ...
Jay Williams ...
Tommy DeCanio ...
Richie Andrusco ...


Joey, a young boy, runs away to Coney Island after he is tricked into believing he has killed his older brother. Joey collects glass bottles and turns them into money, which he uses to ride the rides. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | beach | child | pony | missing child | See All (11) »


The picture that set Hollywood on its ear! See more »


Drama | Family


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 December 1953 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Coney Island Kid  »

Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,040 (USA) (1 February 2013)


$27,373 (USA) (10 January 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Morris Engel: The Independent (2008) See more »


Home on the Range
(1904) (uncredited)
Music by Daniel E. Kelley
Played on the harmonica
Also played at the end of Joey's merry-go-round ride
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Quiet Masterpiece
30 November 2002 | by (Cherry Hill, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

A true classic of American Cinema Verite, "The Little Fugitive" works on several levels. On one level, it's a magnificent portrait of New York, and particularly Coney Island, during the early '50's, when New York City, if you were a kid, was truly a magic place. Anyone growing up in that period can easily identify with the fun and wonders to be seen at Coney when you were a kid and had the day free and money to spend from turned-in pop bottles (Remember those?). Professional photographers, the husband-and-wife team of Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin told a simple story with an eye toward preserving, on film, a way of life that would disappear in just two decades time, and in such an involving way that you feel yourself becoming part of it. All that's missing is the salt air and discarded popcorn bags.

Now to the performances, every one of them a gem. Rickie Brewster and especially little Richie Andrusco as Lennie and Joey, two boys with no previous acting experience, give natural, ingratiating performances as the two brothers at the center of the story. One wonders whatever happened to them, and if, in fact, they're still recognized almost 50 years later. As to the adults, most of them New York-based stage actors, Winnifred Cushing, as the boys' mother, come off as just a bit too arch to be really likeable, but Jay Williams, in the main adult role of the ingratiating pony ride man, more than makes up for it with an enjoyable, lively performance. And see if you can recognize a very young Will Lee, aka "Mr. Hooper" from "Sesame Street," as the photo booth man who lets young Joey help him out.

In short, "Little Fugitive" is not only great as a movie, but also as an evocation of a time and place that lives only in the memories of those who were there.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I need to know if anyone else was terrified by this film caaro1947
Where are they now? Bobbymak880
Finally! kikiteka
Hill Street Blues Peterlh
Discuss Little Fugitive (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page