Hunted (1952 film)

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Hunted (U.S. The Stranger In Between) is a black-and-white British film directed by Charles Crichton and released in 1952. Hunted is a crime drama in the form of a chase film, starring Dirk Bogarde, and written by Jack Whittingham and Michael McCarthy. It was produced by Julian Wintle and edited by Gordon Hales and Geoffrey Muller, with cinematography by Eric Cross and music by Hubert Clifford.

(a.k.a. The Stranger In Between)
Hunted VHS videotape cover
Directed byCharles Crichton
Produced byJulian Wintle
Written byJack Whittingham and Michael McCarthy
StarringDirk Bogarde
Jon Whiteley
Elizabeth Sellars
Kay Walsh
Music byHubert Clifford
CinematographyEric Cross
Edited byGordon Hales and Geoffrey Muller
Independent Artists
British Film Makers
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
  • 17 March 1952 (1952-03-17)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£111,000[1]

The film won the Golden Leopard award at the 1952 Locarno International Film Festival.[2]


Robbie (Jon Whiteley), an orphaned 6-year-old boy, has been placed with uncaring and harsh adoptive parents in London. Having accidentally set a small fire in the house, he fears he will receive severe punishment as he has in the past for misdemeanours, so flees into the London streets. Here, he literally runs into Chris Lloyd (Dirk Bogarde) who is himself on the run as he has, in the heat of passion, just killed his wife's employer, whom Lloyd had discovered, was having an affair with his wife. Robbie attaches himself to Lloyd, who repeatedly tries to rid himself of the boy, albeit as caringly as possible. Lloyd decides, hesitantly, to use the boy to retrieve some much needed cash from his apartment. Thereafter, Lloyd feels compelled to bring Robbie along with him. The film follows the pair as they travel northwards towards Scotland, with the police in somewhat baffled pursuit, and charts the developing relationship between the two. Initially Lloyd regards Robbie dismissively, as an unwanted inconvenience, while Robbie is wary and suspicious of Lloyd. As their journey progresses, however, the pair gradually develop a strong bond of friendship, trust and common cause. Both feel they have 'burned their bridges' and now have nothing to lose. They finally reach a small Scottish fishing port, where Lloyd steals a boat and sets sail for Ireland. During the voyage Robbie falls seriously ill, and Lloyd turns the boat back towards Scotland, where he knows the police are waiting for him.



Jon Whiteley was cast after a friend of Charles Crichton heard him reciting "The Owl and the Pussycat" on radio on The Children's Hour. He was called in for a screen test and was cast.[3]

Much of the film was shot on location, with three main areas being used.

  • The early London exterior scenes were shot in the Pimlico/Victoria area, which at the time still had derelict corners showing evidence of wartime damage.
  • The location chosen for the scenes set in the English Midlands was the area in and around Stoke-on-Trent, with its distinctive industrial skyline of factory chimneys and giant pottery kilns. The railway sequence in this section was shot on the now-defunct Potteries Loop Line, and this scene has come to be regarded as historically significant by British railway enthusiasts as it provides a very rare filmic depiction of the long-gone line in operation.
  • Scottish filming took place in the vicinity of Portpatrick in Wigtownshire and featured the fishing boat 'Mizpah' BA-11 built by Noble of Girvan (1949).
'Mizpah' BA-11 Clyde fishing boat built by Noble of Girvan in 1949


  1. ^ BFI Collections: Michael Balcon Papers H3 reprinted in British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference By Sue Harper, Vincent Porter p 41
  2. ^ "Winners of the Golden Leopard". Locarno. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Round the studios". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 15 December 1951. p. 9 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 7 July 2012.

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