Having played notorious characters in popular movies such as “Coma” (the cynical Dr. George A. Harris), “Kiss of Death” (the psychopath Tommy Udo), etc, American actor Richard Widmark might not be the kind of actor to be typically cast as the adventurous “Rambo” or treasure hunters “Indiana Jones”, or “Allan Quarantine”. However, according to the autobiography of his “Cold Sassy Tree” co-star Faye Dunaway, Widmark is a pro and a perfectionist in acting – someone who would “go and walk the scene the day before we shot it so he knew everything he had to do and what his lines were, and exactly where he would be when he said them”.
In “Run for the Sun” directed by Roy Boulting, Dick Widmark is perfectly cast as Michael ‘Mike’ Latimer, an adventure novelist in exile in a fishing village in Mexico who was tracked down by New York “Sight” magazine writer Katherine ‘Katie’ Conners, played by stunning brunette Jane Greer (aka. Bettejane Greer). On their way to Mexico city, their small plane crash land near the jungle hideout of Nazi criminals (Trevor Howard and Peter van Eyck) where Mike and Katie were detained to cover up the Nazis’ hideaway domain (shot on location at the ruins of the 16th century Atlacomulco Hacienda/sugar plantation of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés (1485-1547) near Cuernavaca, Morelos, Meixco). With their plane destroyed and caught in an helpless situation, Mike and Katie manage to break loose from the hideaway and struggle through the deadly path of the jungle (shot some fifty miles from Acapulco, Mexico) chased by criminals and a vicious pack of Dobermans.
Their survival from this terrifying ordeal to freedom forms the rest of the story of this taut, fast paced movie.
“Run for the Sun” has its strengths and weaknesses, nevertheless it surely is absorbing and fun to watch and still holds up well today. This film is the third official version of “The Most Dangerous Game” (1932), based on the classic suspense short-story written by Richard Connell, though there is much dissimilarity between all the versions (A Game of Death (1945)). The film was produced by actress Jane Russell and Bob Waterfield, her then-husband, under their banner Russ-Field Corp. (© JS/Manningtree Archive.)