The Running Man

  • 1963
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Thriller

The story of someone who fakes his or her own death to collect insurance is not new, and a similar plot was used in the Tony Perkins, Sophia Loren picture FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT a year or so before this. The difference between the two movies was the director. This one had Sir Carol Reed; the earlier film was handled by Anatole Litvak, no slouch but not...read more

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The story of someone who fakes his or her own death to collect insurance is not new, and a similar plot was used in the Tony Perkins, Sophia Loren picture FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT a year or so before this. The difference between the two movies was the director. This one had Sir Carol Reed;

the earlier film was handled by Anatole Litvak, no slouch but not in Reed's class. Shot in Spain, with interiors at Ardmore Studios in Ireland, THE RUNNING MAN tells the tale of Harvey, the owner-operator of a small air-transport company. He's enraged when he can't collect on a glider crash

because he missed renewing the policy by one day. He then does what so many people would like to: he devises a plan to defraud the monolith insurance company. By crashing a plane that he is supposed to be in, he plans to cash in on a huge death benefits policy. He alters his looks, changes his

name, and goes to wait in Spain for his wife, Remick, who stays in England awaiting the payment. Bates is an insurance man who meets Remick, approves the claim, and puts it through. Remick immediately goes to Spain and is perturbed to find that Harvey has assumed the identity of Meillon, a

millionaire from down under. Harvey found Meillon's lost passport and now plans to kill Meillon and collect his insurance. Bates turns up in Spain on what appears to be a holiday. He meets Harvey, seemingly accepting the new identity, and the trio begin palling around together. Harvey thinks that

Bates is on to them and insists Remick and he flee right away, unaware that Bates is telling the truth about being on vacation and that he has left his company. Bates has fallen in love with Remick, and since he believes that she is a widow, he makes no bones about it. Harvey believes that Bates

is coming close to uncovering the truth and tries to kill him by forcing his car off a cliff. Remick is in the car with Harvey but can't stop him. When Harvey decides that he has to escape from Spain and will steal a plane at a local airport to do that, Remick jumps out of his car. Later, Harvey

climbs into the plane, takes off and doesn't notice that the gas gauges are on empty; he crashes to his death in the sea. Style counts more than substance here, and Reed extracts the most from the least. Not that Mortimer's script isn't witty and well-written; it's merely that there is just not

enough to sustain the 103 minutes it takes to tell the story.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The story of someone who fakes his or her own death to collect insurance is not new, and a similar plot was used in the Tony Perkins, Sophia Loren picture FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT a year or so before this. The difference between the two movies was the direct… (more)

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