He Ran All the Way

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He Ran All the Way
He Ran All the Way poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Berry
Produced by Bob Roberts
Screenplay by Hugo Butler
Dalton Trumbo
Based on the novel
by Sam Ross
Starring John Garfield
Shelley Winters
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Francis D. Lyon
Roberts Pictures
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • June 19, 1951 (1951-06-19) (United States)
Running time
77 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1 million (US rentals)[1]

He Ran All the Way is a 1951 film noir crime drama directed by John Berry, starring John Garfield and Shelley Winters.[2]

The film was Garfield's last, as accusations of his involvement with the Communist Party and a refusal to name names while testifying before the HUAC led to his blacklisting in Hollywood. He died less than a year later, at age thirty-nine, from coronary thrombosis due to a blood clot blocking an artery in his heart.

During the film's initial run, director John Berry and writers Dalton Trumbo and Hugo Butler were uncredited due to Hollywood blacklisting during the Red Scare.


Petty thief Nick Robey (John Garfield) botches a robbery, leaving his partner Al (Norman Lloyd) severely wounded as Nick escapes with over $10,000. Meeting bakery worker Peg Dobbs (Shelley Winters) in friendly conversation, when Peg takes Nick to her family's apartment, he decides to take the family hostage until he can escape.

As a manhunt for Nick begins outside, the robber becomes increasingly paranoid. Peg's initial attraction to Nick is overwhelmed by his abusive behavior. Her mother and father plead with Nick to leave, to no avail. He permits Mr. Dobbs to leave for work, warning him of the consequences should the police be contacted.

Still confident that Peg will run away with him, Nick gives her $1,500 to buy a new car. He refuses to believe her when Peg returns and insists the car will be delivered to the front door because she doesn't drive. Nick violently drags her down the stairs toward the exit, terrifying her. Waiting outside is her father, shooting at Nick with a gun. When his own gun drops beyond his reach and Nick orders Peg to hand it to him, she shoots him instead. A mortally wounded Nick crawls outside to the curb, just as his new car arrives.



Critical response[edit]

When the film was released, film critic Bosley Crowther praised the work of actor John Garfield, writing: "John Garfield's stark performance of the fugitive who desperately contrives to save himself briefly from capture is full of startling glints from start to end. He makes a most odd and troubled creature, unused to the normal flow of life, unable to perceive the moral standards of decent people or the tentative advance of a good girl's love. And in Mr. Garfield's performance, vis-a-vis the rest of the cast, is conveyed a small measure of the irony and the pity that was in the book."[3]

More recently, film critic Dennis Schwartz also wrote positively of Garfield's performance, writing: "He Ran All the Way was the last film made by the brilliant John Garfield ... Garfield gives a terrific chilling performance as someone who is less like a cold-blooded killer than someone who has been rejected all his life by family and the outside world, and like a wounded animal goes on the run as a desperate man in search of someone to trust in this cold world."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952.
  2. ^ He Ran All the Way at the TCM Movie Database.
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, June 21, 1951. Accessed: July 16, 2013.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, December 16, 2004. Accessed: July 16, 2013.

External links[edit]