Hunted (film)

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(a.k.a. The Stranger In Between)
Hunted VHS videotape cover
Directed by Charles Crichton
Produced by Julian Wintle
Written by Jack Whittingham and Michael McCarthy
Starring Dirk Bogarde
Jon Whiteley
Elizabeth Sellars
Kay Walsh
Music by Hubert Clifford
Cinematography Eric Cross
Edited by Gordon Hales and Geoffrey Muller
Independent Artists
British Film Makers
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release date
  • 17 March 1952 (1952-03-17)
Running time
84 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £111,000[1]

Hunted (U.S. The Stranger In Between) is a black-and-white British film directed by Charles Crichton and released in 1952. Hunted is a crime drama in the form of a chase film, starring Dirk Bogarde, and written by Jack Whittingham and Michael McCarthy. It was produced by Julian Wintle and edited by Gordon Hales and Geoffrey Muller, with cinematography by Eric Cross and music by Hubert Clifford. Hunted can also be seen as an unusual example of the buddy film genre.

The film won the Golden Leopard award at the 1952 Locarno International Film Festival.[2]


Robbie (Jon Whiteley), an orphaned 6-year-old boy, has been placed with uncaring and harsh adoptive parents in London. Having accidentally set a small fire in the house, and fearing he will receive severe punishment as he has in the past for misdemeanours, he flees into the London streets. He finally takes shelter in a derelict bombed-out building, where he stumbles across Chris Lloyd (Dirk Bogarde) and the body of the man Lloyd has just killed – his wife's employer, who Lloyd had discovered was having an affair with his wife. Now on the run, and aware that Robbie is the only witness to his crime, Lloyd realises that he will have to get out of London and that he has no option but to take the boy with him. The film follows the pair as they travel northwards towards Scotland with the police in somewhat baffled pursuit, and charts the developing relationship between the two. Initially Lloyd regards Robbie dismissively, as an unwanted inconvenience, while Robbie is wary and suspicious of Lloyd. As their journey progresses however, the pair gradually develop a strong bond of friendship, trust and common cause, with both feeling they have burned their bridges and now have nothing to lose. They finally reach a small Scottish fishing port, where Lloyd steals a boat and sets sail for Ireland. During the voyage Robbie falls seriously ill, and Lloyd turns the boat back towards Scotland, where he knows the police are waiting for him.



Jon Whiteley was cast after a friend of Charles Crichton heard him reciting "The Owl and the Pussycat" on radio on The Children's Hour. He was called in for a screen test and was cast.[3]

Much of the film was shot on location, with three main areas being used.

  • The early London exterior scenes were shot in the Pimlico/Victoria area, which at the time still had derelict corners showing evidence of wartime damage.
  • The location chosen for the scenes set in the English Midlands was the area in and around Stoke-on-Trent, with its distinctive industrial skyline of factory chimneys and giant pottery kilns. The railway sequence in this section was shot on the now-defunct Potteries Loop Line, and this scene has come to be regarded as historically significant by British railway enthusiasts as it provides a very rare filmic depiction of the long-gone line in operation.
  • Scottish filming took place in the vicinity of Portpatrick in Wigtownshire and featured the fishing boat 'Mizpah' BA-11 built by Noble of Girvan (1949).
'Mizpah' BA-11 Clyde fishing boat built by Noble of Girvan in 1949


  1. ^ BFI Collections: Michael Balcon Papers H3 reprinted in British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference By Sue Harper, Vincent Porter p 41
  2. ^ "Winners of the Golden Leopard". Locarno. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  3. ^ "Round the studios". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 15 December 1951. p. 9 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 7 July 2012.

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