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It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave. The story couldn't be simpler: a 7-year-old Brooklyn boy, Joey (Richie Andrusco), runs away from home for a day and night to Coney Island, until his brother finds him. The freckle-nosed Andrusco seems oblivious to the camera, and he's a radiant, expressive free spirit — chowing down on hot dogs and watermelon, checking out sundry people on the beach, gleefully jumping from carnival ride to ride. Rarely has a film offered such an authentic child's-eye view of the world, thanks to the handheld 35mm camerawork of Morris Engel and the astute editing of Ruth Orkin, husband-and-wife street photographers turned superb first-time filmmakers.

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ARTICLES BY GERALD PEARY
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 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY