7.4/10
4,266
41 user 35 critic

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

Complete credited cast:
...
Joan Graham
...
Eddie Taylor
...
Stephen Whitney
...
Bonnie Graham
...
Father Dolan
...
Doctor Hill
Charles 'Chic' Sale ...
Ethan (as Chic Sale)
...
Hester
...
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:

Here's stark, spell-binding drama...raw, human, fervent...speaking right out -- pulling no punches...a dramatic thunderbolt that will shock you right out of your smugness! See more »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriters Gene Towne and C. Graham Baker were notoriously eccentric, frequently working in bras and bathing suits, and sending memos written on toilet paper. See more »

Quotes

Joan Graham: Anywhere's our home. On the road. Out there on a cold star. Anywhere's our home.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pleasantville (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

A Thousand Dreams of You
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Alter
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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.


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