7.4/10
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You Only Live Once (1937)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 January 1937 (USA)
The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Graham Baker)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joan Graham
...
Eddie Taylor
...
Stephen Whitney
...
Bonnie Graham
...
Father Dolan
Jerome Cowan ...
Doctor Hill
Charles 'Chic' Sale ...
Ethan (as Chic Sale)
...
Hester
Warren Hymer ...
Buggsy
...
Roger (as Guinn Williams)
...
Warden Wheeler
Walter De Palma ...
Monk Mendall
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Storyline

Joan is the secretary to the public defender in a large city. She is in love with a career criminal named Eddie, and she believes that he is a basically good person who just had some tough breaks. She uses her influence to get him released early, and he tries to go straight after marrying her, but things don't work out, and they both go on the lam. Written by Tim Horrigan <horrigan@eworld.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He robbed... kidnapped... he murdered... Because of the love of one woman!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 January 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Three Time Loser  »

Box Office

Budget:

$575,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While his previous film Fury (1936), his first American film, had gone down well with critics, the Hollywood brass were unsure what to make of Fritz Lang and his politicized films. To the rescue came his Fury (1936) star, Sylvia Sidney, who loved working with him and urged her producer Walter Wanger to consider him for the directing job on _You Only Live Once_. Ironically, Lang's difficult ways of working on this film as well meant he didn't work again for another 18 months. See more »

Quotes

Joan Graham: We may never find happiness
[says Joan during the escape]
Joan Graham: but we have the right to live.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lost Signal (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

A Thousand Dreams of You
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Alter
See more »

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User Reviews

A superb commentary on the American judicial system and the romantic couple.
2 March 2004 | by (Ithaca NY) – See all my reviews

This film stands the test of time as the story of a man trying to become someone else and a woman's loss of faith in justice. Lang's comment on the difficulty of the romantic couple may stem from his former wife's transition to a Nazi, but the strong relationship between Eddie and Joan is both beautiful and disturbing. This film is meticulously shot, with perfect casting (who knew Henry Fonda was ever young?). It's always enjoyable to watch the old Hollywood movies with no blood, and very strange looking kisses.... Superb example of a Lang film and film noir. Worth watching on DVD for a quality restoration.


22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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