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Directed by Nicholas Ray

United States 1948 95 mins.

After working with Elia Kazan for many years as an assistant, Ray’s directorial debut is the first in a significant line of now-legendary “couple on the lam” works so prominent in American cinema. Bowie (Farley Granger, hot off of Hitchcock’s Rope) is a wrongly convicted of murder, escapes prison with two pals who have plans to rob a bank to fund their getaway. Bowie is hurt during the heist and left to get caught while the others escape, but Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell), one of his partners’ nieces, comes to his aid and shelters him from the fuzz. The two grow close, but when Bowie’s erstwhile partners return with plans for one more heist, Bowie must face his meager prospects head-on. The film greatly impressed a generation of famous cinephile critics—among them François Truffaut—and helped usher in the concept of film noir as we know it today.