31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Little Fugitive [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Though this film is certainly not for all tastes, I have to say that it's definitely one of my all time favorites. I strongly recall watching it on PBS late at night as a child, and was overjoyed to rediscover it as an adult. It doesn't hurt at all, either, that I'm a HUGE fan of Coney Island history, and that this film is chock-full of 1953 footage of the park, back in the good ol' days.
The plot is incredibly simple - a young boy is tricked by his older brother and latter's unkind friends, into believing that he's committed murder. The boy runs off to Coney Island to take it on the lam, and, while there, learns a whole lot about the world. From finding out about the glory of 5-cent deposits, to (finally) riding a real pony, we see what's important in his little life, and see how he ekes out a survival for himself during his day and night away from home.
There is hardly any dialogue once he's in the park, and it's refreshing, really - almost a sensory experience through the eyes of a little boy. We are treated to a more innocent time - with very little effort, one can smell the odors of the boardwalk, taste the sweetness of a watermelon slice, and feel the sand beneath the feet. I haven't seen another film quite like this - it's truly magical.
For the Coney Island enthusiasts out there, the footage from the park is fantastic. It stands as a wonderful record of the past - the parachute jump, batting cages, food stands, a marvelous carousel, souvenir booths...it's all here, and it's incredible. If you haven't seen this film, you're missing out, and then some.
Overall, I can admit that this film isn't for all folks - it's slow-moving, quiet, and can drag along a bit - if you don't surrender to it, and take it at it's own pace. Once you've done so, however, you'll see how great a film it really is.