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Running Target (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Romance, Western | 1 November 1956 (USA)
In the Colorado Rockies, Sheriff Scott, heads a posse that is after four escaped convicts, and thought it is his sworn duty to return the men dead or alive, he is, as always, reluctant to ... See full summary »


(story), (screenplay) (as Marvin Weinstein) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Richard Reeves ...
James Parnell ...
Gene Roth ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nicholas Rutgers ...


In the Colorado Rockies, Sheriff Scott, heads a posse that is after four escaped convicts, and thought it is his sworn duty to return the men dead or alive, he is, as always, reluctant to kill his fellow man. He is accompanied by Jaynes, a tavern owner, who takes much delight in his telescopic rifle, and by "Smitty," a gas station owner held up the escapees and more than ready to show she can be as tough as any man, although she seems to have some other motive for getting to the leader of the convicts, Kaygo. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Taste the terror . . . Smell the fear . . . Experience the raw, naked panic of a Running Target!


Crime | Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




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1 November 1956 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Very different manhunt tale
7 March 2016 | by See all my reviews

I first saw "Running Target" many years ago and it had already been kicking around on local TV networks for sometime. Originally released, no doubt, as a second feature with a much bigger movie, it has a typical '50's "B" list provenance with a cast of reliable "B" list stars, all of whom made many more flicks throughout that decade and beyond. By today's standards much of the dialogue and characterizations come across as hackneyed, trite and corny as hell - as a couple of previous reviewers have pointed out with varying degrees of articulation and insight - but... but... there's something undeniably different about this flick's story line and "feel" that just sticks with me after all these years - and I'm not alone in this thinking as several other reviewers have stated similar sentiments. If you're going to review a movie, whether a rave or a slam, at least make an attempt to put it is some sort of context relating to its era, the politics and the prevailing culture of the country at that time. This movie was released a scant ten years after WWll, three years after the Korean War. It was made during a period of unprecedented prosperity in America

  • the Eisenhower years - and only a few years after the Senator Joseph

McCarthy Un-American activities witch hunts were conducted in which any entertainment figure with a hint of "leftist" activity was branded a communist by "tail-gunner" Joe. (Indeed, the three male leads, Franz, Healy and Reeves had all served in the war as combat veterans, with Franz actually shot down in his bomber over occupied Europe. No doubt many others in the production had served as well). Some reviewers take issue with the sheriff, Scott's, "liberal" or "pacifist" leanings throughout the movie: unlike Jaynes, he has no interest in killing any of the escapees. He wants to do his job with no bloodshed at all, if possible. Could it be that his character has already seen enough of killing in his lifetime; could it be that Jaynes just hasn't seen enough yet to satisfy his own blood lust? On the surface, the lone woman in the posse, Smitty, comes across as almost masculine in her resolve to get Kaygo as a supposed revenge for his and the other cons robbing her gas station. Could it be that as a single woman, successful and independent, very unusual for that time, Smitty had to be equally as tough and hard to survive in a very male-oriented environment? By the film's climax, that veneer cracks to reveal something entirely different about her own quest. The direction, camera-work, incidental music and yes, even the script, all hint at something more meaningful than the average "revenge manhunt in the Rockies" flick. I think that the movie achieves its goals, no matter how modest they were, at aspiring to something different, and yes, even a bit haunting, from what you might expect from an example of that genre, at that time.

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