“Run for the Sun” (1956) starring Richard Widmark, Trevor Howard, & Jane Greer

A raging animal of a man…more savage than any jungle killer! -A tagline for the movie

Mike Latimer (Richard Widmark) is a Hemingway-like novelist who has been living in (self-imposed) exile for 5 yrs. A reporter for Sight Magazine, Katie Conners (Jane Greer), tracks him down in a small town in Mexico; she says some friends will be meeting w/ her soon. Mike enjoys having Katie around for company; she’s beautiful, intelligent, and challenging. They spend a week together, sharing meals and fishing on his boat. Mike lets his guard down, assuming that Katie is a tourist who likes his writing. Katie doesn’t reveal that he is her assignment; she feels badly about this (even telling her editor back in NYC). On a flight to Mexico City, Mike’s small plane goes off course and crashes in the forest! Katie has a few scratches, BUT Mike suffers more serious injuries. They’re near an estate owned by an Englishman, Mr. Browne (Trevor Howard), who is ready to help out. Browne is well-mannered/cultured, saying he’s also a fan of Mike’s books. Dr. Van Anders (Peter van Eyck) is another European living there; he is studying ancient civilizations. Only the local Indians (Native Americans) are nearby; the work on the estate. There are no phones to contact the outside world. After a few days resting/recuperating, Mike begins to realize that these men may NOT be as harmless as they seem!

Are you fan of the Indiana Jones movies? If yes, then you may also like this drama/adventure. The plot (partly) comes from The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell; this is a short story that kids often read in JHS here in the US. This movie is a remake of RKO’S 1932 hit The Most Dangerous Game (1932). While the earlier version was filmed entirely on the studio back-lot, this version was shot mostly on location. It’s implied that Howard’s character here is a former Nazi, NOT merely a madman like in the older version. The location of Browne’s estate was a former sugar plantation and refinery est. in the 16th C. In the ’80s, the main house and several buildings were turned into a hotel. The set for the inside of the house was the largest built at a Mexican studio up until that time.

In the 1st 40 mins of the movie, we get to see the easy/playful chemistry btwn Widmark and Greer; they seem to respect and like each other. Widmark is BOTH cynical and boyish; he smiles (and NOT in an evil way like in his noir films). There are a few moments when he speaks Spanish- V cool! Widmark gets to wear casual outfits, though Greer is more dressy and wearing glam makeup (until the 3rd act when practicality is needed). As a fan on YT commented, these actors should’ve made more movies together. Widmark and Greer appeared together in Against All Odds (1984), a remake of the noir classic Out of the Past (1947) starring Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, and Greer. Mitchum and Eva Marie Saint were considered for the leads of this film. Sadly, Greer contracted a tropical virus during the location shooting; this eventually required her to have a heart operation! The actress also fractured her tailbone on a rock while filming the scenes in the swamp. Widmark thought this was one of his worst films; he’d tell his kids that if they didn’t behave, they’d have to watch it (LOL)! Perhaps the acting wasn’t challenging, BUT the physical work looked tough.

[1] 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.

[2] 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. …this lady had real talent.

[3] 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.

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.

-Excerpts from IMDb reviews

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