Run for the Hills
Cast & Crew
Charley Johnson, an actuary with a Los Angeles insurance company, has become greatly preoccupied by the threat posed by Russia's ability to use the H-bomb. Jane, Charley's wife, becomes suspicious when he disappears three weekends in a row, but then he invites her to join him and they drive into the mountains where Charley shows her an underground cave in an abandoned gold mine. He explains that, having looked at over twenty mines and caves, he has bought this one as a safe haven against the bomb. June, though not pleased at the prospect of living in a cave, goes along with Charley's plan. The mine's owner, Jed Taylor, and his granddaughter Malinda are overjoyed at the sale. Back home, Charley, a veteran of the Korean War, practices survival techniques such as rubbing two sticks together to create a flame. When Charley applies for a loan to redesign and furnish the cave, he is turned down by all levels of the loan company's management, one of whom tips off the newspapers about the odd situation. The story is also carried by radio stations, and a television game show invites Charley to participate in a thousand-dollar contest. However, in order to win, Charley has to appear in a caveman skin and is subjected to other indignities, including eating thirty pounds of raw hamburger in twenty-five seconds. Charley throws the hamburger at the program's host and stomps off. Mr. Simpson, Charley's boss, finally loses patience with Charley's his behavior and demands that he give up the cave or be fired. Charley chooses the latter. After Charley tells Jane she should divorce him as he is broke, she refuses and suggests they charge people to see how they live in the cave. Charley improvises a shower and they install furniture, carpet and a refrigerator. People show up by the bus load for a guided tour of the cave given by Charley and Jane, dressed in caveman and cavewoman costumes. However, various fellow eccentrics, including an investment broker, a paleontologist, a hermit and a society "gold digger" also show up. Another wants to turn the cave into a nightclub and, for a few moments, Charley fantasizes about playing master of ceremonies on a radio broadcast from the cave. However, the potential nightclub operator vanishes when he learns they have no money. Taylor stops by and is now representing broker Orin Hadley, who wants to buy the cave for reasons of his own, but Charley refuses to sell. Charley is then harassed by building and health inspectors, sent by Taylor's lawyer, Carl Hudson, who informs him that the deed was never recorded and that he only purchased mineral rights and is obligated to mine. Hudson then offers Charley two thousand dollars above his costs to leave, and although Jane thinks that they should accept the offer, Charley refuses. After Taylor tries to have eviction papers served without success, he cuts off electrical power to the cave and pays a deputy sheriff to plug up the cave's air shaft. After a newspaper reporter writes about their struggle to hold onto their "home," radio stations carry the story, and soon a television crew and hundreds of spectators are outside the cave. Taylor even operates a concession stand for the visitors' convenience. Through all this, Jane has supported Charley but now worries that they may die in the cave, so they both leave. Outside, Charley is astonished by the crowd and accuses Taylor of cutting the air off. When Malinda tells the sheriff that his deputy was responsible, the crowd turns against Taylor, and the sheriff orders the air shaft unplugged. After Charley and Jane go back into the cave, it suddenly begins shaking violently and Charley thinks the bomb has been dropped. However, it proves to be an earthquake and to their joy, they discover gold in the dislodged rocks, to which they own the mineral rights.
R. D. Ervin
Mark O. Rice
The order of the opening and closing cast differs. There are several spelling errors in the onscreen credits: Assistant director Richard Nixon should be Richard Dixon; actresses Vicci Raaf and Jean Wills should be Vici Raaf and Jean Willes. Although this film's main title card included the statement "Copyright MCMLII by Tel-e-Vox Productions," the film was not registered with the Copyright Office. A Daily Variety news item of May 3, 1950 stated that Edward Lewis, who is credited onscreen as Ted, and Marion Parsonnet had purchased "Run for the Hills," an original story by Leonard Neubauer, intending to produce it later that year. However, the film was not made until late 1952. A Hollywood Reporter production chart listed the film as being made by Stone Canyon Productions and named Ed Leven as producer. The Variety review listed the film as a "Jack Broder release of a Kinego-Rand (Rice & Ervin) Production."