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Film / Hunted (1952)

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Hunted (U.S. The Stranger In Between) is a 1952 British black-and-white crime drama directed by Charles Crichton and starring Dirk Bogarde and Jon Whiteley.

Chris (Dirk Bogarde), a murderer on the run, is reluctantly saddled with fugitive orphan boy Robbie (Jon Whitely), who insists upon tagging along. The two set off on foot on an arduous cross-country journey to Scotland where Chris has a brother he hopes to stay with. Chris ends up sacrificing his freedom to rescue injured Robbie from certain death.


Provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Robbie's stepdad is beating him a lot. That's why he decided to run away after accidentally setting the kitchen curtains on fire.
  • Curtain Camouflage: Subverted. When Robbie sneaks into Chris' apartment, his first choice of hiding is behind the living room curtains but then he notices his uncovered legs and goes to hide under the table instead.
  • Hand Gagging: Chris does this first to Robbie and then his wife to prevent them from screaming and hence giving him away to the police.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Chris would have been hanged for murder when he was caught, tried and convicted. He could have got away to Ireland, but, in a selfless act, he traded his own life for Robbie's, so that the little boy would live.
  • Hollywood Darkness: The scene at the harbor is clearly shot during day time but the look was toned down to make it appear like dusk or dawn.
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  • Home-Early Surprise: Mentioned as part of Chris' backstory. One day he came home unexpectedly only to find his wife dressed up in clothes he has never seen on her before. Turns out she was having an affair with her boss. The film opens with Chris murdering said boss out of revenge which sends him on a Stern Chase.
  • Ignored Vital News Reports: The hostess at the Bed & Breakfast turns off the radio while news about the two fugitives are announced.
  • Mickey Mousing: When Robbie runs from Chris' apartment, his way down the stair is accompanied by fitting music.
  • The Millstone: Robbie. It doesn’t take long before Chris realizes his mistake in seizing him. He has no money to feed him, or himself, and is constantly reminded that the boy is hungry and tired.
  • Off Bridge, onto Vehicle: First it's Chris who jumps from a bridge onto a train and then Robbie follows suit.
  • Pet the Dog: Chris caring for Robbie makes him look less like a villain.
  • Run for the Border: Chris seizes a boat with which he hopes to escape abroad, presumably to Ireland. However, Robbie's sickness foils the plan.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Chris is a cold-blooded murderer but he has a heart for Robbie which makes him a likable character.


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