Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday Night's Movie

OK, for me, a movie doesn't have to have a classic adventure plot, if it has the adventure elements and trappings. Case in point: Run For The Sun (1956) starring Richard Widmark, Jane Greer and Trevor Howard.

A loose remake (there were two) of the classic The Most Dangerous Game, this film has Widmark as a somewhat reclusive writer and Greer as a reporter trying to get a story out of him. Their plane crashes in the Mexican jungle where they are taken in by Trevor Howard and his German buddies. And guess what? Yeah, Widmark thinks he recognizes Howard's voice and other clues mount up to reveal what the viewer suspects the minute a gun parts box with 'Mauser' clearly painted on it shows up (as if the snarling Dobermans aren't enough). Trev and the boys are runaway war fugitives, Howard having been a male 'Tokyo Rose' during the hostilities. From there, cat and mouse ensues as Dick and Jane try to escape through the jungle then turn back to steal Howard and company's plane tucked under the trees. I'll let you find out what happens.

There is something I love when TCM does it: runs film I've never even heard of, much less haven't seen. There's something I love about old films: even if you can guess what the basic plot points are gonna be, they're still enjoyable to watch. I enjoyed this film. The set pieces were the biggest ever built by the Mexican Estudios Churubusco and the location was the ruins of an old sugar plantation built a few centuries back by Hernan Cortes, southeast of Cuernavaca (been there, done it, got the shirt). Now that's pretty damned cool for adventure history buffs. The plantation ruins were subsequently refurbished and turned into a hotel. Filmed in the jungle, using the ruins, and throwing in a couple of airplanes and some vicious wild pigs, a big cat and some parrots, (all in technicolor) this flick is worth seeing at least once. The best part is that I was just flipping through the channels and found it.

Movie buffs may recall that Widmark and Greer appeared together in another movie that includes two lovers in and among Mexican jungles and ruins: Against All Odds (1983) with Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward, which was itself a remake, this one of Out of the Past, starring Greer herself in the Rachel Ward role. Personally I enjoy such trivia.

If you're like me and you've seen enough classic adventure movies that you truly enjoy more obscure older films with simply the elements and trappings of adventure, then check out this film, Run For The Sun...

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