Tuesday, December 09, 2014


When his doctor tells Paul Bryan (Gazzara) he'll be dead in a year or two, he decides to do the things he had never had time for. Much like Route 66, each episode features the main character on the move, encountering new people in new situations. Gazzara first originated the character of Paul Bryan on Kraft Suspense Theater in the episode "Rapture at Two-Forty", which aired on April 15, 1965 and served as the series' pilot. Well received, the show became a series that September. Near the beginning of that episode, the audience sees the conversation between Bryan and his doctor, which is heard only in voice-over in subsequent episodes of Run For Your Life. Although the Bryan character was given no more than eighteen months to live, the series ran for three seasons. (1965-68)

Ben Gazzara was terrific in this role and in all the roles he played for John Cassavetes in his films. He was tough but with heart. Not so easy to do. He was distinctive. 


Bill Crider said...

Watched this one through the first couple of seasons and liked it quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

I haven't thought of this one in years but I did watch it too, at least as long as Bill did. Almost a cross between Route 66 snd The Fugitive.

Of course one of Gazzara's best roles later in his career was as Patrick Swayze's main antagonist in the classic ROAD HOUSE.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, he could play good and bad equally well.

George said...

I'm with Jeff: Gazzara's best role was in ROAD HOUSE. But he was a versatile actor.

Anonymous said...

People made jokes about how the doctor gave Bryan less than two years to live, but the series ran for three. There was an episode of Get Smart where they met an international adventurer who was trying to live life to the fullest since he'd been diagnosed as having two years to live. When they asked when he'd received the diagnosis, he said "Twenty-seven years ago."

Then again, IRL, Doc Holliday must have lived about ten years longer than the MD's predicted he could.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, this is one I never saw! I ought to see if I can find it.