Run For the Sun (1956)

Run For the Sun (1956)
Run For the Sun (1956) Run Time: 99 min. | colour

Director:  Roy Boulting

Stars: Richard Widmark, Trevor Howard, Jane Greer, Peter van Eyck

Genres: Adventure | Thriller

Storyline
Author Widmark and reporter Greer crash land in the jungle and come upon a plantation run by an English traitor and a wounded Nazi who don’t want company. The chase is on in this terrific thriller.

4 responses to “Run For the Sun (1956)”

  1. IMDBReviewer says:

    I tuned into this one on TCM and heard Robert Osborne refer to it as a remake of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME–BUT in my opinion, only in vague outline. Like GAME, it ends with a chase through the jungle with the bloodhounds on their trail and leads to their final escape. But there are several novel twists and turns along the way and the suspense is in high gear once the chase begins.

    Jane Greer appeared in so many B&W film noirs of the ’40s that it’s surprising to see her in technicolor. She looks great and has good chemistry with Richard Widmark’s adventurous writer. Both of them appear to be having a tough time physically as they trudge through swampy waters and slash their way through thick jungle. Trevor Howard is the villain of the piece, not quite as menacing as Charles Laughton in the original.

    Gripping suspense yarn will keep you glued to your seat as you wonder how it all turns out. Give it a chance, as it starts slowly before the plot thickens.

  2. tfsadmin says:

    This is a first rate remake (redesigned) of Richard Connell’s classic suspense short story, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. If you are lucky, read the story. If you can’t find it, see the 1932 movie with Joel McCrae, Leslie Banks (as the mad Count Zaharoff – General Zaharoff in the original short story), Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. It captures the best aspects of the short story, but not all the clever details. Also, the sets were reused by the same production group (along with Fay Wray, Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot) for KING KONG shortly afterwords.

    Basically the story goes like this. The hero is sole survivor of a shipwreck, and finds himself on an island owned by the villain. The villain, a master hunter, is insane, and has found there is only one game worth hunting – "the most dangerous game" or man, the only animal that one knows can think. He gives his "guests" (he has caused the shipwrecks) a good dinner or two, and then they proceed to run for their lives or until he kills them. But Rainsford (the hero in the original short story) is a trained hunter too. So for a change, Zaharoff really has a worthy opponent. The ending of the tale I will leave to the lucky reader.

    But this 1956 film is an interesting version of the original. The scene shifts to an isolated jungle area of Mexico. Richard Widmark and Jane Greer are in a plane crash, and are rescued by Trevor Howard and Peter Van Eyck, both of whom are far from welcoming. Widmark is not sure, but he keeps thinking he knows Howard, although he’s never seen him. Then he realizes it’s Howard’s voice – he heard it in World War II, as a Nazi propaganda figure (a British traitor). In short, Howard is a version of William Joyce, "Lord Haw Haw" (see SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VOICE OF TERROR). Van Eyck is Howard’s brother-in-law.

    Howard and Van Eyck have been less than willing to help Widmark and Greer get back to civilization before, because they did not want to have them report them to the authorities – they are wanted for war crimes (at least Van Eyck is). Widmark, when he makes the mistake of discovering who his hosts are, suggests that if they help him and Greer get back, he can take a message to Howard’s loved ones about their safety. Unfortunately, Howard explains, his wife and children were killed in the war by bombing. As it is apparent that Van Eyck wants to see the strangers dead, Widmark and Greer take off to try to get to safety. And then the story follows the lines of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME.

    But ironically there is one more switch. Howard has been connected to Van Eyck only by the marriage – personally he has no liking for the man. As it turns out, he would not mind if he could get out of the jungle – away from this remnant of a bloody, horrific past. And so the film actually goes onto a somewhat different conclusion. But I leave it to the viewer to see what it is.

  3. tfsadmin says:

    Thrilling suspense in this jungle adventure with fantastic stars Widmark and Greer. some good dialogue, but the story doesn’t really convince; it’s just a vehicle for the situational suspense and romance. Widmark is a Hemingway-style author and Greer a journalist who finds him in hiding and tricks him into revealing his confidence (which, disappointingly, involves nothing more than a cliched love drama).

    Nice direction, very effective photography in sharp color. Greer was never lovelier and, except in the incomparable Robert Mitchum, never found a better leading man. It’s a shame that Hollywood allowed Mr. Howard Hughes to throw her into a ditch (figuratively, of course), because this lady had real talent.

  4. tfsadmin says:

    I had the privilege of seeing Richard Widmark in person a few years ago when he appeared at the Lincoln Center Film Society. Nearing 90 then, he had recently remarried after the death of his wife of many years. His appearance was remarkably unchanged: ruggedly handsome, that same, strong, rough speaking voice, and one of the best pairs of cheekbones in the business – right up there with Jack Palance, Loretta Young, and Elvis.

    Widmark gets to show his stuff admirably in "Run for the Sun," which costars Jane Greer. He plays a writer a la Hemingway who has given up his career and is living in oblivion in Mexico. Greer plays a reporter who finds him with the intention of doing a story about him. She doesn’t reveal her intentions, instead deciding to return to New York, and Widmark offers to fly her to Acapulco. They crash in the jungle and wind up at the compound of Trevor Howard.

    This is supposedly a vague remake of "The Most Dangerous Game," which I haven’t seen, so I can’t make any comparisons. This film, though a little too long, is very exciting, particularly the last section, and will really hold the viewer’s attention. Both Widmark and Greer are excellent. Greer is in her early thirties here and finally in a color movie, and she’s beautiful despite a couple of frumpy hairdos and outfits. Trevor Howard underplays as the villain and is an introverted menace.

    Very enjoyable.

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