Little Fugitive (1953) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • In Brooklyn, twelve year old Lennie and seven year old Joey have a relationship typical of brothers their age. Joey always wants to hang around with the big kids - Lennie and his friends, Charley and Harry - and while Lennie loves his little brother, he and more specifically his friends think Joey is a pest. On the eve of Lennie's birthday, the actual birth date when Lennie's friends are planning on taking him to Coney Island to celebrate, an emergency arises with Lennie and Joey's widowed mother, where she has to take an overnight trip. That trip forces Lennie to have to take care of Joey at home instead of going to Coney Island, where their mother wouldn't allow Joey to go anyway. To get back at Joey for ruining their Coney Island plans, Lennie and his friends decide to pull a prank on him: with what they tell Joey is a real gun secretly obtained from one of their fathers and letting him play with it with a "real" bullet, Joey fires, with his eyes closed, with Lennie's friends further telling Joey that he shot Lennie dead and that he better get lost before the cops put him in the electric chair. After the success of the prank, Lennie feels some remorse for what he did to his brother. Lennie goes through other emotions when he finds that Joey has not gone home, his whereabouts Lennie has to discover. Lennie has just over twenty-four hours to find Joey before their mother comes back home, then when he would get in trouble for not taking care of his brother properly. What Lennie doesn't know is that Joey, taking the emergency money their mother left for them, has run away, managing to take the train to Coney Island. Joey's main priority in his time at Coney Island is to take advantage of all the fun things that the park has to offer a seven year old, organized fun or otherwise. That priority may change if one of a variety of things happen, among which includes running out of money, if it gets dark and he has to find someplace to sleep, and/or anyone realizes that he's there on his own and may turn him into the authorities, he still believing, somewhere way in the back of his mind, that the police are out to get him.

  • 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.


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