DISC 1 - LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953) (SPECIAL EDITION) Widely regarded as one of the most influential and enjoyable films of the American independent cinema, Little Fugitive is an utterly charming fable that poetically captures... more » the joys and wonders of childhood. When a seven-year-old boy (Richie Andrusco) is tricked into believing he killed his older brother, he gathers his meager possessions and flees to New York s nether wonderland: Coney Island. Upon and beneath the crowded boardwalk, Joey experiences a day and night filled with adventures and mysteries, resulting in a film that is refreshingly spontaneous and thoroughly delightful. Hailed by critics as a groundbreaking cinematic feat, Little Fugitive won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, played in nearly 5,000 theatres in the U.S. and is now recognized as a classic of American independent film. WINNER: Silver Lion 1953 Venice Film Festival - ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE - Best Screenplay - Inducted in 1997 to the NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board - SPECIAL FEATURES: Feature-length Audio Commentary by Morris Engel - Two Documentary Films by Mary Engel: Morris Engel: The Independent (2008, 28 min) and Ruth Orkin: Frames of Life (1995, 18 min.) - Theatrical Trailer - Image Gallery - REMASTERED FROM A NEW HIGH-DEFINITION TRANSFER.
DISC 2 - LOVERS AND LOLLIPOPS / WEDDINGS AND BABIES (DOUBLE FEATURE) - LOVERS AND LOLLIPOPS (1955) A miniature movie masterpiece - CUE MAGAZINE - A follow-up to the hugely successful Little Fugitive, Lovers and Lollipops is the enchanting tale of a seven-year-old girl s reaction to her mom s new boyfriend. When an attractive widow begins seeing an old friend, her daughter Peggy (Cathy Dunn) feels their relationship threatened. Though not always intentionally, Peggy responds by thwarting the romance that is blossoming between the two adults. Shot on location among the landmarks of New York City the Central Park Zoo, Macy s Toy Department, the Statue of Liberty and Chinatown Lovers and Lollipops is a lyrical ode to the resilience of love and the charms of youth. - Newly Re-mastered for DVD - WEDDINGS AND BABIES (1958) - ONE OF THE YEAR S TEN BEST! One of the most exciting feature films the U.S. has produced in a decade. TIME MAGAZINE - A work of artistic finesse and great emotional candor, Morris Engel s Weddings and Babies is a bittersweet tale of love, hope and sacrifice, staged to perfection amid the sidewalks and storefront apartments of New York s Little Italy. Viveca Lindfors stars as Bea, a Swedish-born woman who yearns to begin a family with her photographer boyfriend Al. But the two things to which Al has devoted his career weddings and babies are the very things he cannot make room for in his life. The unexpected appearance of Al s aging mother, evicted from a boarding house, only intensifies his familial confusion, and Bea must decide whether to wait for Al or seek happiness elsewhere.« less
"In 1953 I started school at PS 188 on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island. Each year, The Little Fugitive would be shown in the auditorium ...and every year I loved it as much as I had the year before ... I never forgot the movie and whenever anyone would ask my favorite film, even as an adult I would always mention it ... Several years ago when visiting NYC with my own children, after spending a day in Coney Island, eating at Nathans and going on the Cyclone, we wandered into a Manhatten video store and I was astounded to see it on a shelf. We immediately rented it and it was as wonderful in 1998 as it had been in the 1950s. My children loved it and continue to mention scenes from it today in 2003! A wonderfully charming film that goes right to the heart of childhood."
Danielle Bennignus | 04/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though this film is certainly not for all tastes, I have to say that it's definitely one of my all time favorites. I strongly recall watching it on PBS late at night as a child, and was overjoyed to rediscover it as an adult. It doesn't hurt at all, either, that I'm a HUGE fan of Coney Island history, and that this film is chock-full of 1953 footage of the park, back in the good ol' days.
The plot is incredibly simple - a young boy is tricked by his older brother and latter's unkind friends, into believing that he's committed murder. The boy runs off to Coney Island to take it on the lam, and, while there, learns a whole lot about the world. From finding out about the glory of 5-cent deposits, to (finally) riding a real pony, we see what's important in his little life, and see how he ekes out a survival for himself during his day and night away from home.
There is hardly any dialogue once he's in the park, and it's refreshing, really - almost a sensory experience through the eyes of a little boy. We are treated to a more innocent time - with very little effort, one can smell the odors of the boardwalk, taste the sweetness of a watermelon slice, and feel the sand beneath the feet. I haven't seen another film quite like this - it's truly magical.
For the Coney Island enthusiasts out there, the footage from the park is fantastic. It stands as a wonderful record of the past - the parachute jump, batting cages, food stands, a marvelous carousel, souvenir booths...it's all here, and it's incredible. If you haven't seen this film, you're missing out, and then some.
Overall, I can admit that this film isn't for all folks - it's slow-moving, quiet, and can drag along a bit - if you don't surrender to it, and take it at it's own pace. Once you've done so, however, you'll see how great a film it really is."
A "Gem" Of A Movie!
AhJay | 02/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When you first start watching this movie, you think the director has a budget of $10. But what you discover is a pioneer of the indendent film. This little gem is a whisical tale of 7 year old Joey Norton, who's dooped by friends into thinking he's shot and killed his older brother, Richie. Upon believing this, Joey exiles himself to Coney Island, with Richie in hot pursuit. The film does a wonderful job of catching the innocence of the 50's. If you can get them away from the computer, video games and Sponge Bob, I truly believe that even kids today would enjoy this little piece of "Americana""
My all time favorite movie
Adam Raphael | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie takes the viewer back to the childhood in all of us. Whether you are from Iowa or Brooklyn, NY, you will be taken back to the time of your innocence, when the world was good and life was sweet. Powerful and so well done, this film looks as if it were a documentary following a child into another world. You feel it in your gut. It's also a lot of fun as well. As a personal manager repping children, exclusively I can honestly say that this film and these actors are the reason that keep me hopeful. They just don't make 'em like that anymore."
This is an awesome film, reminiscent of Red Balloon.
Adam Raphael | 12/10/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This amazing film, made in 1953, is shot in the same, wordless, style of the French classic, The Red Balloon. A young boy is tricked into thinking he has killed his brother...you can read the synopsis. That is only the premise. The real meat of the movie is 1953 Coney Island, captured without words, in all its glory. Cotton candy machines, rides, games, as he wanders by himself around the grounds. Marvelous job capturing those days. Highly recommended! An award winner. If you own Red Balloon, you should own this one!"