LITTLE FUGITIVE & SPEEDY
Directed by Morris Engel
(1953) Brooklynite Richie Andrusco’s on the run from the cops after the accidental shooting of his big brother – only trouble is, Richie’s only seven, the “shooting” was just a dumb ketchup-splashed gag by his brother and cronies, and Mom won’t be back from Grandma’s till the next day. But with six bucks in his pocket and all of Coney Island for a hide-out, how tough can things be, as Richie rides the merry-go-round, takes a cowboy photo, tries out his swings in the battling cage, scarfs down hot dogs, soda, watermelon, and corn on the cob, and gets hooked on the pony ride – he refinances by scouring under the boardwalk for two-cent deposit soda bottles – and even his frantically searching big brother takes a break to ride The Parachute Jump. With a concealed custom-made 35mm camera (which Godard later asked to borrow), legendary photographer Engel – and crew including future wife Ruth Orkin, herself a photography titan – captured unknowing crowds, a phenomenal performance by pint-sized non-pro Richie, and a perfect time capsule of Coney in the waning years of its heyday. Oscar nomination for Best Screen Story; Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival. Co-written and co-produced by Ray Ashley. 35mm. Approx. 75 min.
“A PIONEERING INDEPENDENT FILM. An urban heart-warmer, but it has a fresh, gritty surface. Morris Engel, the cinematographer, who shares the writing and directing credits with Ruth Orkin (his wife) and Ray Ashley, used a handheld camera to exploit all the wonders of Coney Island; the result is a lively essay on ball-toss games, pop bottles, pony rides, and human midsections of all varieties, as seen from a four-footer’s perspective. Truffaut considered it an inspiration for the French New Wave—and no wonder. A valuable record of love and pain on the beach.”
– Michael Sragow, The New Yorker
“Our New Wave would never have come into being if it hadn’t been for Morris Engel’s fine movie The Little Fugitive. It showed us the way.”
– François Truffaut
Directed by Ted Wilde
Starring Harold Lloyd
♪ Live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner
(1928) Jazz Age Idols meet, as baseball-crazed soda jerk/cabbie Harold Lloyd and passenger Babe Ruth hurtle to old Yankee Stadium. Extensive NYC location work is highlighted during a frenzied finale, as Harold races Gotham’s last horse-drawn trolley right through Washington Square Arch! 35mm. Approx. 86 min.
“No filmmaker had ever made such flamboyant use of New York.”
– Kevin Brownlow