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Little Fugitive (The Coney Island Kid )

Little Fugitive (The Coney Island Kid ) (1953)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 818

My Rating

Movie Info

A lyrical serio-comedy from the writing/directing team of Ray Ashley, Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin, The Little Fugitive stars young Richie Andrusco as Joey Norton, a seven-year-old Brooklynite left in the care of his 12-year-old brother Lennie (Ricky Brewster). Finding the boy to be a constant annoyance, Lennie and his friends devise a plan to make Joey mistakenly believe that he has killed his brother; the prank is successful, and a frightened Joey flees for the fantasy-world refuge of Coney


Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics


Ray Ashley

Oct 12, 1999


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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

That the filmmakers were able to make "Little Fugitive" at all is kind of miraculous, but the miraculousness has its limits.

March 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like childhood itself, it's over before you're ready to let it go.

January 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An underseen indie-film landmark and an invaluable artifact of local history to boot.

April 19, 2005 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...a charmer from another age.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Rarely has a film offered such an authentic child's-eye view of the world ...

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

The not-to-be-underestimated singularity of Little Fugitive is such that its legacy nearly contradicts its nature.

January 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

This amazing little film... is one of the most painful and vivid recollections of childhood I've ever seen, easily on par with Zero for Conduct, The 400 Blows and The Butcher Boy.

June 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

... the film runs largely on charm, but Engel's eye for people and landscape and social activity gives it a vibrancy that is still compelling.

April 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

You'll enjoy it from whatever angle you approach it, and you'll want to hand Joey a nickel so he can ride the pony one more time.

June 18, 2008 Full Review Source:

A remarkable indy classic, made on a shoestring budget.

December 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Little Fugitive (The Coney Island Kid )

Somewhere between The 400 Blows and a Kookla, Fran and Ollie flick, this pioneering 1953 film was a watershed for being an American independent and for its early handheld camera work. A warmhearted kid story with great New York scenery to boot.
September 7, 2008

Super Reviewer

As twilight descends on coney island, you can almost taste the salt water air and feel the cool ocean breeze on your cheek. The movie is less a character study and more a day in the life of a boy at a very specific time and place. Rather than a plot taking us along to it's pre-determined destination, things merely happen, and we bear silent witness to it. It's a simple story of two brothers, maybe aged 6 and 11, and the older brother tricks the younger into thinking he's killed him, thus sending the younger brother on the run. He goes to Coney island, and spends a couple of days on the beach and on the boardwalk, drowning his sorrow in junk food and pony rides. Directed by Morris Engel and Ray Ashley, the film has all the quality of an artistic (not artsy-fartsy) documentary, there's very little in the way of script of plot, it's basically an exercise in film and subject matter. And yet, somewhere in the midst of all this artistic vision, a tender story comes out and forms a touching image. It's almost impossible not to see this as a real life story, and it's also almost impossible not to fall in love with the little boy. The charm of this document and it's by-gone era lies with the people it photographs, and as a snapshot of Coney Island and New York, it's almost a love letter.
April 16, 2009
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

the very first american indie. remarkably natural performance from the kid. a low budget documentary style snapshot of a more innocent time and a big influence on truffaut's 400 blows
April 8, 2009
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

No frills look at kids growing up in 1950's New York City. The unpolished style adds to its charm and ambiance.
February 4, 2009
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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