Man on the Run
Man on the Run – 1948 | 80 mins | Thriller | B&W
ABPC’s excellent well-paced thriller stars Laurence Harvey in his debut feature as a compassionate detective, Edward Chapman as his tenacious chief and Kenneth More makes a brief cameo early on in a rare caddish role. Derek Farr is something of a disappointment as the unconvincing deserter and fails to portray the anxiety of being a man on the run.
Set in post-war England, demobbed Cpl Newman (Kenneth More) bumps into Army deserter Peter Burdon (Derek Farr) working as a barman in a coastal public house, and being down on his luck blackmails his old colleague for £2pw to keep his silence.
In response Burden goes on the run again, this time to London, but owing money to his landlord he decides to pawn his old service revolver to pay the rent. Just as Burden pulls out his empty revolver to show the store keeper, two armed crooks burst into the jewellery store to commit a robbery – assaulting the jeweller and killing a police constable during the getaway. Burden is suspected of being a member of the gang, and expecting the police won’t believe the word of a deserter, he goes into hiding in the East End. He is taken in by attractive war widow Jean Adams (Joan Hopkins), who believes his alibi and offers to help prove his innocence. But the only clue they have is that one of the crooks has the top of his middle fingers missing.
On the trail of Burden are Chief Inspector Mitchell (Edward Chapman) and Detective Sergeant Lawson (Laurence Harvey), both believe the fugitive is still hiding in the East End but as the police net tightens Burden and Joan escape to a friends hotel in Sussex. There they discover they’re in love with each other. When Jean returns to London briefly she spots the fingerless crook in a local café, after following him to his digs she informs Peter of the address and is subsequently taken in for questioning by the police. Peter returns to London and confronts the crooks but they abduct him at gunpoint with the intention of murdering him. Jean confesses all she knows to the police and proclaims Peter’s innocence. The race is now on to track down the genuine crooks before Peter is murdered and the villains flee the country.
Wilkie Cooper: Cinematography
Arthur Graham: Cinematography
Lawrence Huntington: Directer
Monica Kimick: Film Editing
Philip Green: Original Music
Lawrence Huntington: Producer
Lawrence Huntington: Script
Joan Hopkins: Jean Adams
Derek Farr: Sgt Peter Burden, alias Brown
Edward Chapman: Chief Inspector Mitchell
Laurence Harvey: Detective Sergeant Lawson
Alfie Bass: Bert
Edward Underdown: Slim Elfey
Kenneth More: Cpl Newman
Martin Miller: Tony
Eleanor Summerfield: May Baker
Valentine Dyall: Army Judge Advocate