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Run for Cover Details


In his first western since 1939's , James Cagney is a pillar of integrity in the Pine-Thomas production Run for Cover. Cagney plays Matt Dow, who at the beginning of the film has been released from prison after serving six years for a crime he didn't commit. Heading westward, Matt befriends young Davey Bishop (John Derek), whom he begins to regard as the son (or brother) he never had. When Davey is injured during a train holdup, Matt brings him to the farm of Mr. Swenson (Jean Hersholt) to convalesce. Here Matt falls in love with Swenson's daughter Helga (Viveca Lindfors). When word of Matt's prowess with a gun reaches the local townsfolk, he is offered the job of sheriff. Matt accepts, but on one condition: that the crippled Davey be appointed deputy. Matt's faith in Davey proves to be misplaced when the embittered boy throws in with the dreaded Gentry gang, but an 11th hour regeneration caps this "psychological western." The curiously Freudian relationship between Matt and Davey was par for the course for Nicholas Ray, who directed Run for Cover betwixt and between his more famous endeavors Nicholas Ray and Nicholas Ray. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


James Cagney
as Matt Dow
John Derek
as Davey Bishop
Viveca Lindfors
as Helga Swenson
Jean Hersholt
as Mr. Swenson
Ernest Borgnine
as Morgan
Jack Lambert
as Larsen
Grant Withers
as Gentry
Irving Bacon
as Scotty
Trevor Bardette
as Paulsen
Ray Teal
as Sheriff
Denver Pyle
as Harvey
Emerson Treacy
as Bank Clerk
Gus Schilling
as Doc Ridgeway
Joe Haworth
as Miller
Frank Cordell
Howard Joslin
Rocky Shahan
John Miljan
as Mayor Walsh
Henry Wills
as Townsman
John Miljan
as Mayor Walsh


Nicholas Ray
William Pine
William C. Thomas
William C. Thomas
Harriet Frank, Jr.
Screen Story
Winston Miller
Irving Ravetch
Screen Story
Daniel L. Fapp
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Henry Bumstead
Art Director
Farciot Edouart
Set Designer
Sam Comer
Set Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Farciot Edouart
Special Effects
John P. Fulton
Special Effects
Francisco Day
First Assistant Director
Wally Westmore