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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 3,210 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 26 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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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 »
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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

A cast list with character names in the Fritz Lang papers at USC includes the following actors, none of whom were in the viewed print: John Beck, Harry Bernard, Dorothea Wolbert (People in post office), Walter Soderling (Man in teller's cage), Frank Hammond (Lounger in store) and Russ Powell (Sheriff in store). It is not known if scenes with these actors were shot at all, or just deleted from the released print. 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: Anywhere's our home. On the road. Out there on a cold star. Anywhere's our home.
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

 
Love and Prejudice, In a Tragic Melodrama
5 December 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Joan Graham (Sylvia Sidney) is the efficient secretary of a public defender Stephen Whitney (Barton MacLane) and is in love of the smalltime criminal Eddie Taylor (Henry Fonda). Her boss and friend Stephen helps Eddie to leave the prison on probation, Eddie promises to have a straight life and immediately get married with Joan. He finds a job as truck driver, but is unfairly fired on his first day. While trying to find another job, there is a heist in a bank with six victims and Eddie is accused. Joan convinces him to go to the court and prove his innocence, but based on circumstantial evidence and prejudice of the jury, Eddie is sentenced to the electric chair. On the night of his execution, the FBI finds the real criminal and Eddie grants an indulgence. However, Eddie is trying to escape from prison in a hostage situation, and kills his friend Father Dolan (William Gargan), who was trying to help him. Eddie meets Joan and together they try to reach the border and escape from justice.

"You Only Live Once" is the second American movie of Fritz Lang and a tragic melodrama. The depressive story of love and prejudice discloses a tough criticism to a very unfair, corrupt and hostile society, where losers do not have the chance to recover their dignity and common people are corrupt. The screenplay is visibly influenced by Bonnie and Clyde, who died on 23 May 1934, ambushed in their getaway car - therefore less than three years before the release date of this film. Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney show a great chemistry in good performances in this minor movie of this great director. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Vive-se Uma Só Vez" ("You Only Live Once")


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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