Skeletons in a Small Town Closet
Frank Richards (Dean Cain - Flight of Fancy) is the new Sheriff of a small Georgia town where the previous Sheriff did nothing to prevent the segregation which filled the town. As Frank discovers there were other things which the former Sheriff did nothing about especially when it came to various murders all being put down to a mysterious character who was never caught. When two kids who were trying to run away and have an adventure down the river end up inadvertently unearthing a human bone it leads to Frank digging in to these unsolved murders and is doing so stirring up a hornets nest in the process as some want him to leave the past where it is.
Being a movie which comes under the Hallmark Hall of Fame label it isn't surprising when I say that "The Runaway" whilst hard hitting isn't the grittiest of movies. It also shouldn't be a surprise when I say that it is also a simple movie to follow with a story built around a town still struggling with those who look down on the African Americans and as such there are old racially motivated crimes which have been covered up by those who have the power and contacts. In fairness there is more to "The Runaway" than this as the discovery of a bone, the unrest it causes leads to a chain of events which sees a young African American boy arrested when one of the town's most racist and despicable men is shot.
But as I said "The Runaway" isn't a gritty drama, instead it tries to show how things were in an American small town just passed WWII where there was racism and old fashioned attitudes, but shown in a not overly offensive way. And it succeeds because if you were looking for a drama which you can watch on a quiet afternoon which wouldn't be too shocking for children to watch with you it works. In fact it would probably spark some discussion into how attitudes once were.
What this all boils down to is that "The Runaway" is just an old fashioned made for TV drama which in an easy to watch manner highlights the racial injustices of a post WWII American town where secrets are kept by those with power.