The second film noir release from Arrow Academy; Norman Foster’s 1950 Woman on the Run. Shot on location in San Francisco, it arrives on a stunning dual format transfer with a great set of  extras.

 Woman on the Run opens with Ross Elliott’s Frank Johnson walking his dog. He happens to be in the wrong place at wrong time though, seeing the murder of a key witness in the prosecution of a local mobster Smiley Freeman.

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The police investigation begins which Mr Johnson is initially willing to help with but soon takes off. This leads the inspector in charge to call Johnson’s estranged wife Eleanor played brilliantly by Ann Sheridan. When Eleanor gets a mysterious phone call from her hubby and the promise of a $1,000 from Dennis O’Keefe’s Legget “newspaperman”  for the story she teams up with the journalist to retrace her husband by his cryptic messages and memories of places they frequented.

Woman on the Run is a film noir masterpiece with an utterly suspenseful final act involving a rollercoaster that’ll have audiences on the edge of their seats even now.The film belongs to Anne Sheridan, her intelligent performance with the genre smarts that would normally be expected from a hard bitten gumshoe.

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Woman on the Run was a project from the short lived independent film company Fidelity Pictures that unsuccessfully tried to go head to head with the larger studios but only produced four films in its time. The film’s taut script by Alan Campbell and co written with Foster alongside his economical direction keeps the action moving during its 77 minute running time along with cinematographer Hal Mohr adding to the visual richness and mood of the movie.

The discs extra material has as much drama as the movie has a five minute featurette A Wild Ride: Restoring Woman on the Run the original print of Woman on the Run was destroyed by a fire in 2008 but thankfully the British Film Institute had a copy that could be painstakingly restored.

This Arrow release also includes a very informative commentary track by Eddie Muller of the Film Noir Foundation, a 17 minute mini documentary which further discusses the movie, a featurette on the San Francisco Annual Noir City Film Festival and a feature looking at locations today where Woman on the Run shot.

 The last two extras will have you booking your plane and movies tickets for this cinematic cities noir festival.

Woman On The Run takes time to get moving but if you stick with it reward it’s viewer.

5/5

Dir: Norman Foster

Scr: Alan Campbell, Norman Foster

Cast: Anne Sheridan, Ross Elliott, Dennis O’Keefe

Prd: Howard Welsch

DOP: Hal Mohr

Music: Arthur Lange

Country: United States

Year: 1950

Runtime: 77 minutes

Woman On The Run available on Dual Format now