Woman on the Run
Woman on the Run is a 1950 crime film noir directed by Norman Foster and starring Ann Sheridan and Dennis O'Keefe. The film was based on the April 1948 short story "Man on the Run" by Sylvia Tate and filmed on location in San Francisco.
|Woman on the Run|
|Directed by||Norman Foster|
|Produced by||Howard Welsch|
|Screenplay by||Alan Campbell|
Ross Hunter (dialogue)
|Based on||the short story "Man on the Run"|
by Sylvia Tate
|Music by||Arthur Lange|
|Edited by||Otto Ludwig|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
The film was restored and preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
One night, a man tries to blackmail "Danny Boy", but is shot. The killer then spots unsuccessful painter Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott), out walking his dog, and shoots at him, before fleeing.
The victim was going to testify before a grand jury against a gangster. Since Frank saw the shooter, Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith) wants to place him in protective custody so he can testify. Frank has second thoughts and slips away. Ferris speaks to Frank's wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan). She comments, "Just like him, always running away." Ferris asks her, "Running away from what?" She replies, "From everything." She is not especially cooperative or concerned about her husband.
Eleanor later tries to sneak out without being spotted by the police and encounters reporter Danny Legget (Dennis O'Keefe). He offers help and $1000 for an exclusive story. Sam, a friend, passes along a message that Frank will send her a letter addressed to his co-worker Maibus.
When Eleanor returns to her apartment, Ferris informs her that he has spoken with Frank's doctor. He is taking medicine for a bad heart, a condition she was unaware of. Ferris has instructed all druggists to notify him if someone asks for it. Eleanor gets some from his doctor.
Frank's letter is intercepted by Legget, who gains Eleanor's trust. The letter gives cryptic instructions on where Frank is. They speak to Sam again; his friend Suzie mentions to Legget that Frank made a sketch that looks like him. Legget later returns, gets the drawing and tears it up; Suzie dies from a fall from a building.
During the course of her investigation, Eleanor learns things she never knew about Frank, including that he still loves her. She begins to question herself, her feelings for him and how she treated him.
Once Eleanor figures out Frank's riddle, she and Legget go to a beachside amusement park at night. Ferris follows them there. Then Ferris receives a phone call from Sam, who tells him that the only thing missing from Suzie's possessions is Frank's drawing. When Eleanor finds Frank, she reconciles with him. She then goes to find Legget. When they spot Ferris, they get on the roller coaster to avoid being spotted. Legget has Eleanor stay on the roller coaster, while he goes to meet Frank. She suddenly realizes that Legget is the killer (he remarked that Frank was shot at, a detail known only to her, the police and the gunman), but she is trapped on the ride. Leggett tries to induce a heart attack in Frank. The two fight and shots ring out. Eleanor runs to the scene to discover that Ferris has shot the corrupt reporter. She finds her husband and the two embrace.
- Ann Sheridan as Eleanor Johnson
- Dennis O'Keefe as Daniel Legget
- Robert Keith as Inspector Martin Ferris
- John Qualen as Maibus
- Frank Jenks as Detective Shaw
- Ross Elliott as Frank Johnson
- Jane Liddell as Messenger Girl
- Joan Shawlee as Blonde (as Joan Fulton)
- J. Farrell MacDonald as Sea Captain
- Steven Geray as Dr. Hohler
- Victor Sen Yung as Sam
- Reiko Sato as Suzie (as Rako Sato)
- Syd Saylor as Sullivan
- Tom Dillon as Joe Gordon (as Thomas P. Dillon)
Ross Hunter worked as dialogue director on the film. He later produced some movies starring Sheridan at Universal helping launch Hunter's producing career.
Film critic Bosley Crowther gave the film a generally positive film review. He wrote, "Since it never pretends to be more than it is, Woman on the Run, which began a stand at the Criterion yesterday, is melodrama of solid if not spectacular proportions. Working on what obviously was a modest budget, its independent producers may not have achieved a superior chase in this yarn about the search by the police and the fugitive's wife for a missing witness to a gangland killing. But as a combination of sincere characterizations, plausible dialogue, suspense and the added documentary attribute of a scenic tour through San Francisco, Woman on the Run may be set several notches above the usual cops-and-corpses contributions from the Coast ... Woman on the Run will not win prizes but it does make crime enjoyable."
Film Comment reviewer Farran Smith Nehme praised Sheridan's performance.
- Woman on the Run at the American Film Institute Catalog.
- Ann Sheridan's Next Movie to Be a Comedy with Cops and Gangsters: Looking at Hollywood..... Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 13 Jan 1950: A6.
- TWO MOVIE FIRMS MERGE INTERESTS: Fidelity and Erskine Also List Ambitious Schedule for the New Production Company Western Slated for Flynn By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES6 Mar 1950: 28.
- FILMLAND BRIEFS Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]23 May 1950: A6.
- ALONG BROADWAY: Roller Coaster 'Throws' Texas' Ann Sheridan Barron, Mark. Los Angeles Times (15 Oct 1950: D10.
- 'Red Badge' Off-Beat Casting Revel; Bruce Cabot Does Top Bad Man Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 7 Aug 1950: B9.
- Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, November 30, 1950. Accessed: August 18, 2013.
- "Too Late for Tears (1949) + Woman on the Run (1950) - Film Comment". Film Comment. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
- Woman on the Run at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Woman on the Run on IMDb
- Woman on the Run at AllMovie
- Woman on the Run at the TCM Movie Database
- Woman on the Run is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Woman on the Run complete film on YouTube (film in public domain) [no longer available on YouTube]