The portrayal of women in American films during the ’40s and ’50s usually mimicked the conservative norm. They were submissive, needed to be rescued, devoted to a man or overly emotional. If they didn’t love their man they were depicted as evil and manipulative. This didn’t reflect the post-war reality in America where couples often re-united as virtual strangers. In Norman Foster’s Woman on the Run, Ann Sheridan smashes all these stereotypes.
Whilst Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) is walking his dog one night he witnesses a murder. Fearing for his life he goes into hiding. The police concentrate their efforts on his wife, Eleanor (Sheridan), but they’d become distant and she’s unmoved. However, when she discovers he has a medical condition Eleanor is desperate to get his medication to him. She’s aided by a newspaperman (Dennis O’Keefe) who agrees to help the couple out in exchange for an exclusive story.
Sheridan is outstanding in the leading role as her ambivalence towards her husband slowly evolves into something else. The plot is highly unusual for a film noir, with the traditional gender roles being interchanged with an imaginative and twisting narrative. Foster was a protégé of Orson Welles and you can see glimpses of the great man in his visual flair. Woman on the Run is a brilliant crime thriller which keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Special Edition Contents:
- Brand new restoration of original 35mm vault elements by UCLA Film & Television Archive
- Presented in High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD
- Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio Commentary by author, historian, and “noirchaeologist” Eddie Muller
- Love is a Rollercoaster: Woman on the Run Revisited – a new featurette on the making of the film, from script to noir classic, produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation
- A Wild Ride: Restoring Woman on the Run – a stranger-than-fiction document of the film’s restoration, produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation
- Noir City – a short documentary directed by Joe Talbot about the annual Noir City Film Festival presented by the Film Noir Foundation at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre
- Gallery featuring rare photographs, poster art and original lobby cards
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
- Booklet featuring new writing by Eddie Muller
Woman on the Run is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Video and is out on Monday.