The Runaway

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Set in the 1940s, this Hallmark Hall of Fame production uses a murder mystery to motivate a whole lot of Sunday school attitudinizing about tolerance. Tired of the limitations of their segregated town, two youngsters — Caucasian Luke (Cody Newton) and African-American Sonny (Duane McLaughlin) — decide to run away. In their travels through rural...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Set in the 1940s, this Hallmark Hall of Fame production uses a murder mystery to motivate a whole lot of Sunday school attitudinizing about tolerance. Tired of the limitations of their segregated town, two youngsters — Caucasian Luke (Cody Newton) and African-American Sonny (Duane McLaughlin) — decide to run away. In their travels through rural Georgia woods, they discover a human leg bone that plunges Sheriff Frank Richards (Dean Cain) into a murder investigation the town would rather keep hushed up. Several years ago, a leather-hooded man abducted three black men who were never seen again — one was Sonny's father. The Sheriff interrogates the widowed Mrs. Carnes (Kathryn Erbe), on whose property the bodies wree buried, and Mrs. Alice Davis (Roxanne Hart), whose abusive husband, Harlan (Cliff De Young), employs Sonny's family. Not only has Harlan battered his wife for years, but he's also repeatedly raped Sonny's sisters. Despite Sonny's despair about white folks' justice, Luke assures his pal that they can find his father's killer. The someone shoots Harlan in his barn' since witnesses heard Sonny threaten him, the youth is charged with his murder. By introducing evidence of Harlan's assaults, the Sheriff hopes to garner sympathy for Sonny and link Harlan to the unsolved homicides; he contends that Harlan silenced those who had tried to stop him from abusing the servants. Will Harlan's killer step forward and clear Sonny? This meandering courtroom drama mimics TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) without capturing the magic of a Southern childhood; unable to generate much suspense, the film contents itself with patting itself on the back for its message of brotherhood.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Set in the 1940s, this Hallmark Hall of Fame production uses a murder mystery to motivate a whole lot of Sunday school attitudinizing about tolerance. Tired of the limitations of their segregated town, two youngsters — Caucasian Luke (Cody Newton) and… (more)

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