Brooklynite Richie Andrusco’s on the run from the cops after the accidental shooting of his big brother — only trouble is, Richie’s only seven, the “shooting” was just a dumb ketchup-splashed gag by his brother and cronies, and Mom won’t be back from Grandma’s till the next day. But with six bucks in his pocket and all of Coney Island for a hide-out, how tough can things be, as Richie rides the merry-go-round, takes a cowboy photo, tries out his swings in the batting cage, scarfs down hot dogs, soda, watermelon, and corn on the cob, and gets hooked on the pony ride — he refinances by scouring under the boardwalk for two-cent deposit soda bottles — and even his frantically searching big brother takes a break to ride The Parachute Jump.
With a concealed custom-made 35mm camera (which Godard later asked to borrow), legendary photographer Engel — and crew including future wife Ruth Orkin, herself a photography titan — captured unknowing crowds, a phenomenal performance by pint-sized non-pro Richie, and a perfect time capsule of Coney in the waning years of its heyday. Oscar nomination for Best Screen Story; Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival.
Lance Edmands (Bluebird)
“We discussed how much of the look would be inspired by this era, the last time people really had the money to renovate things. The house that the main family lives in was totally empty and falling apart when we picked it.”