IMDb > Little Fugitive (1953)
Little Fugitive
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Little Fugitive (1953) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 13 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Little Fugitive -- A seven-year-old boy is tricked into believing he killed his older brother, he gathers his possessions and flees to New York's Coney Island. There he experiences adventures and mysteries.
Little Fugitive -- Open-ended Trailer from Joseph Burstyn Inc.


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7.7/10   1,413 votes »
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Ray Ashley (written by) &
Morris Engel (written by) ...
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Release Date:
16 December 1953 (France) See more »
The picture that set Hollywood on its ear! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A fresh, down-to-earth feeling to filmmaking. See more (28 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Ray Ashley 
Morris Engel 
Ruth Orkin 
Writing credits
Ray Ashley (written by) &
Morris Engel (written by) &
Ruth Orkin (written by)

Ray Ashley (screen play by)

Produced by
Ray Ashley .... produced by
Morris Engel .... produced by
Original Music by
Eddy Lawrence Manson (music composed by) (as Eddy Manson)
Cinematography by
Morris Engel (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Ruth Orkin (edited by)
Lester Troob (edited by)
Sound Department
Harold Johnson .... sound effects
Ruth Longwell .... sound cutting
Lester Troob .... sound supervised by
Peter Riethof .... sound consultant (uncredited)
Howard Warren .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Morris Engel .... camera design by
Charles Woodruff .... camera design by
Music Department
Eddy Lawrence Manson .... music performed by (as Eddy Manson)
Lester Troob .... music supervised by
Other crew
Ray Ashley .... presents
Morris Engel .... presents
Leonard Rosenberg .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
80 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in Morris Engel: The Independent (2008) (V)See more »
An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314 (On the Beautiful Blue Danube)See more »


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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
A fresh, down-to-earth feeling to filmmaking., 14 November 2001
Author: cinemadaz from Tucson

Generally credited as one of the pioneers of independent cinema (as far as making your own film your own way and still getting seen in theaters), Morris Engel used his background as a New York City photographer to bring a fresh, down-to-earth feeling to filmmaking. Engel and his wife, photojournalist Ruth Orkin, wrote, directed, produced and edited their own low-budget films, shot by Engel using a hand-held 35mm camera of his own design.

The first of their three films, LITTLE FUGITIVE, is a beautiful, innocent film about a seven-year-old boy who is tricked by his older brother and runs away to Coney Island with six dollars. As the boy interacts with his new world on the boardwalk, Engel really transports the viewer there. The film feels like a documentary: sparse dialogue, realistic acting, hand-held cinematography and real locations. The FUGITIVE actors and atmosphere never come off fake: as the boy is hitting baseball in a batting cage, one hit ball flies towards the camera and you find yourself jumping out of the way!

The actor doesn't stop with this film "mistake", he's having fun and keeps going. All the childhood loves are there: bottles in the sand, hot dogs and cotton candy, ponies and parachute rides. With their films, Engel and Orkin created folklore, paving the way for directors like Truffaut, Godard, Cassavetes and Leigh.

FUGITIVE was successful for a non-studio film in the '50s, playing to over 5,000 theaters.

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I need to know if anyone else was terrified by this film caaro1947
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