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Shirley Anne Field
One of several worthy discoveries in Something Weird Video's "Weird Noir" set, and the most formally interesting of the bunch. "Girl on the Run" obeys the classical unities of action (one plot, which is all you have time for in 64 minutes), time (it all takes place in one evening), and place (it is set entirely inside a traveling carnival's grounds). The film is spatially fascinating: you really get a sense of how a carnival can pack a lot of activities into a smallish area, and how, out of direct sight of the public, the "inner world" of the carnival company can go on vigorously despite there being no apparent physical room for it. The sound design is dense and realistic and lends a high degree of verisimilitude to the film's texture.
"Girl on the Run" is bookended by an excellent night-time opening shot of the carnival and its Ferris wheel from a medium distance, very atmospheric, and a great closing shot of a laughing mechanical clown. Some thought went into the presentation here.
On the debit side, the acting is fairly ordinary, although protagonist Richard Coogan - television's first Captain Video - is certainly a handsome, energetic chap. The storyline is nothing special either. And yet the very standardness of these elements throws the more innovative aspects of the movie into higher relief, and the overall result is highly watchable.
I encourage any film history student or scholar looking for an offbeat candidate for detailed analysis to take a look at this movie; I think you might see rich possibilities in it.
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