British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.
Toward the end of World War II, the allied secret service receives a partial message indicating that the Germans are researching nuclear energy to build atomic bombs. In Midwestern ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
You Only Live Once is Director Fritz Lang's second American film after leaving Nazi Germany. The first one Fury was a tale of mindless mob violence against an innocent man caught in circumstances not of his own making.
This one however has a career criminal trying to go straight, but with no one willing to give him a break. Arrested for a bank robbery that he didn't commit and the resulting deaths from same, Henry Fonda is on death row awaiting execution. His girlfriend, Sylvia Sydney helps him escape and in the escape, prison chaplain William Gargan is killed by Fonda. Gargan was one of the few friends he had and now Fonda and Sydney are fugitives.
To be sure there are some plot holes. For one thing I'd like to know just what Fonda had done before that made him a three time loser in the first place before the action of the story takes place. Nevertheless it's a good piece of film making and the stars register real poignancy in their performances.
This barely got made. Henry Fonda hated the dictatorial Fritz Lang during the making of this, almost walked out several times. Later on they had equally bad relations during the shooting of The Return of Frank James.
The real life exploits of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker influenced the writing of the screenplay. Of course the Barrow/Parker duo were hardly the innocents that Fonda and Sydney are. But then again this was the heyday of social liberalism during the New Deal when it was believed all of life's ills could be cured with the right government social program.
Barton MacLane as Fonda's attorney delivers one of his few performances as a good guy. During the Thirties and Forties MacLane played tough and ruthless gangsters and police officials, some of the latter quite corrupt. I'm so used to seeing MacLane as a bad guy this was something of a revelation to me.
It's a dated story, but full of poignant tragedy and worthy of a look.
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