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You Only Live Once (1937)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  29 January 1937 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,476 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 27 critic

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

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

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

PCA director Joseph Breen objected to the robbery scene details which were against the production code. Specifically, he listed "no flash of a man's face contorted with agony, no showing of a woman lying on the sidewalk, no hurling of bombs, no cop lying on the street, his face contorted with pain, no truck crushing out the life of a cop, no terrible screaming, no shots of bodies lying around, no figure of a little girl huddled in death, no shrieks." The print received by the PCA ran 100 minutes, and it is clear from the released print that some of these items and other scenes were cut, and the PCA finally gave it an approved certificate. See more »

Goofs

At c.77 minutes Bonnie exclaims "She's cute!" as she looks at Joan's baby. But only moments before Bonnie was told that the baby is a boy. 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

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une histoire seule (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
depressing melodrama
22 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fritz Lang did a great job with this well-acted, uniquely photographed drama from the '30s. It's not anything to see if you're looking for a lift, though. Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney, so young it's unbelievable, play a husband and wife escaping the law. Sidney is a secretary who falls in love with a convict and marries him as soon as he gets out of prison. He's a three-time felon and has a tough time getting back into society. Ultimately, he's convicted of a crime he didn't commit and sent to death row. He escapes with Sidney and they become sort of a Bonnie and Clyde on the run for the Canadian border.

There are some plot problems, for instance, how Fonda got the gun in order to escape. Also, the boss at the trucking firm where he works is over the top in his dislike for Fonda and refuses to give him another chance.

The acting is very intense from both Sidney and Fonda. Looking at the young Fonda, one can really see where Jane got her looks. This isn't a big film, nor is it a happy one, but it's worth seeing.


17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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