Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Forgotten TV: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
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.