Life for Ruth

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Life for Ruth
"Life for Ruth" (1962).jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Basil Dearden
Written by Janet Green
James McCormick
Produced by Michael Relph
Starring Michael Craig
Patrick McGoohan
Janet Munro
Cinematography Otto Heller
Edited by John D. Guthridge
Music by William Alwyn
Distributed by Rank Film Distributors
Release dates
30 August 1962 (World Premiere, London)
1966 (US)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£126,800 [1]
Box office£53,788 (by 1971) [1]

Life for Ruth is a 1962 British drama film produced by Michael Relph directed by Basil Dearden and starring Michael Craig, Patrick McGoohan and Janet Munro. [2]


It was released in the US as Walk in the Shadow.


John Harris finds himself ostracized and placed on trial for allowing his daughter Ruth to die. His religious beliefs forbade him to give consent for a blood transfusion that would have saved her life. Doctor Brown is determined to seek justice for what he sees as the needless death of a young girl.



The film was based on an original script by the husband and wife team of Janet Green and John McCormick, who had written Sapphire and Victim for Dearden and Relph. They wrote it in 1961 under the title God the Father then A Matter of Conscience. [3]

Michael Craig had worked with Dearden and Relph on Sapphire. He says he was "surprised to be offered the film - playing a North country working class chap seemed against type - but I was delighted to do it." [4]

Filming took place in Sunderland and Seaham Harbour Co Durham,


The film had its World Premiere on 30 August 1962 at the Leicester Square Theatre in London's West End. [5]

Box Office

The film was a failure at the box office, contributing to the collapse of Allied Film Makers. [1]

Critical reception

The New York Times wrote of the film, "in avoiding blatant bias, mawkish sentimentality and theatrical flamboyance, it makes a statement that is dramatic, powerful and provocative." [6]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p248
  2. LIFE FOR RUTH Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 29, Iss. 336, (Jan 1, 1962): 114.
  3. Nelmes, Jill; Selbo, Jule (2015). Women Screenwriters: An International Guide. Springer.
  4. Craig, Michael (2005). The Smallest Giant: An Actor's Life. Allen and Unwin. p. 104.
  5. The Times online archive 30/8/1962 page 2
  6. A.H. Weiler (12 September 1966). "Movie Review - Life For Ruth - Screen: Faith and Law:'Walk in the Shadow' Is Disturbingly Real". The New York Times . Retrieved 13 March 2014.