John Garfield had been a force in Hollywood for a decade. But Film roles were getting scarce mainly because of his liberal leanings. He also was called to testify before HUAC and, while strongly denouncing Communism, he refused to name any friends that may have had leanings. He was blacklisted as a result and HE RAN ALL THE WAY was the last movie he ever made. Health problems were hitting him as well and a year later, at age thirty-nine, he died from a blood clot blocking an artery in his heart.
Garfield played a petty thief, Nick Robey, in over his head at the instigation of his friend Al Molin(Norman Lloyd), who let him do all the dirty work when they hit the payroll guy. He laid back as Nick slugged the boss and took the brief case with ten grand in cash. Unfortunately a cop comes along and, in the shootout, Al takes one in the back and Nick shoots the cop who later dies.
In the escape, he rents a locker at a public pool and takes to the water where he meets a young bakery worker Peg Dobbs(Shelley Winters) and ends up giving her a swim lesson. Chiefly, he’s interested in using her as cover as cops swarm the area looking for him. He ends up taking her family hostage as he hides out. Wallace Ford is the father, Selena Royle the mother, and Bobby Hyatt is Tommy, the kid brother. They are allowed to go about their normal daily affairs as Nick always has the mother under the gun.
Nick becomes increasingly paranoid as the film progresses to the point where Peg agrees to go with him in an effort to save her family.
A good crime drama. On it’s initial run, director John berry and writers Dalton Trumbo(the script was based on his novel as by Sam Ross) and Hugo Butler were uncredited because of blacklisting.