IMDb > You Only Live Once (1937)
You Only Live Once
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

You Only Live Once (1937) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 18 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.4/10   4,129 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Gene Towne (screenplay) &
C. Graham Baker (screenplay)
View company contact information for You Only Live Once on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 January 1937 (USA) See more »
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 »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A superb commentary on the American judicial system and the romantic couple. See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sylvia Sidney ... Joan Graham

Henry Fonda ... Eddie Taylor

Barton MacLane ... Stephen Whitney

Jean Dixon ... Bonnie Graham

William Gargan ... Father Dolan

Jerome Cowan ... Doctor Hill
Charles 'Chic' Sale ... Ethan (as Chic Sale)

Margaret Hamilton ... Hester

Warren Hymer ... Buggsy

Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Roger (as Guinn Williams)

John Wray ... Warden Wheeler
Walter De Palma ... Monk Mendall
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Earl Askam ... Corridor Guard (uncredited)

Hooper Atchley ... Teletype Operator (uncredited)
Allen Black ... Baby Taylor (uncredited)

Stanley Blystone ... Rafferty - Guard (uncredited)

Ward Bond ... Casey - Guard (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... Pat - Policeman with Package (uncredited)

Al Bridge ... Guard (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Compositor (uncredited)
Raymond Brown ... Engineer (uncredited)
George Burton ... Convict Waiter (uncredited)

Jack Carson ... Attendant in First Gas Station (uncredited)

Jack Cheatham ... Prison Hospital Guard (uncredited)
Russ Clark ... Officer (uncredited)
David Clyde ... Fireman (uncredited)
Shirley Coates ... Ethel (uncredited)

Harry Cording ... Guard (uncredited)
Hal Craig ... Bank Guard (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... State Trooper Firing Machine Gun (uncredited)
Mary Anne Durkin ... Warden's 14-Year-Old Daughter (uncredited)

Dick Elliott ... City Editor (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Plainclothesman (uncredited)

James Flavin ... State Trooper (uncredited)
Malcolm Graham ... Warden's Secretary (uncredited)

Frank Hagney ... Plainclothesman (uncredited)

Jonathan Hale ... District Attorney (uncredited)
Al K. Hall ... Man in Auto Court Office (uncredited)
Ben Hall ... Messenger with Package (uncredited)

Chuck Hamilton ... Armored Car Guard Unloading Money (uncredited)
Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian ... Williams' Assistant (uncredited)
Jack Herrick ... Convict Watching Baseball Game (uncredited)
Herbert Heywood ... Brakeman in Diner (uncredited)

Al Hill ... Attendant in Second Gas Station (uncredited)
Earl 'Hap' Hogan ... Trusty (uncredited)
Betty Ruth Huff ... Eight-Year-Old Girl (uncredited)
Stanley King ... Convict (uncredited)

Ethan Laidlaw ... Tony aka Tommy - a Guard (uncredited)
Robert Lee ... Jason (uncredited)
Stanley Mack ... Male Nurse (uncredited)
Wally Maher ... Attendant in Second Gas Station (uncredited)

Frank Mills ... Man Telling Eddie of Phone Call (uncredited)
Roberta Mountjoy ... Warden's Eight-Year-Old Daughter (uncredited)
Ted Oliver ... State Trooper (uncredited)
William Pawley ... Mr. Williams (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Corridor Guard (uncredited)

James Pierce ... Guard (uncredited)
Lon Poff ... Halsey (uncredited)

Stanley Price ... Sparks - Man in Diner (uncredited)

Mickey Rentschler ... Ten-Year-Old Boy (uncredited)
William Ruhl ... Guard (uncredited)
Allen D. Sewall ... Chess-Playing Convict (uncredited)

Claire Sinclair ... Mrs. Wheeler (uncredited)

Robert St. Angelo ... Corridor Guard (uncredited)
Jean Stoddard ... Stenographer (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Young Woman (uncredited)
Henry Taylor ... Kozderonas - Apple Vendor (uncredited)
Monte Vandergrift ... Traffic Policeman (uncredited)

Max Wagner ... Dan - Corridor Guard (uncredited)
Kathrin Clare Ward ... Blonde Cook in Diner (uncredited)
E. Alyn Warren ... Prison Chef (uncredited)
Lillian West ... Mother (uncredited)

Charles C. Wilson ... Police Inspector (uncredited)

Harry Wilson ... Convict Watching Baseball Game (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
Writing credits
Gene Towne (screenplay) &
C. Graham Baker (screenplay) (as Graham Baker)

Produced by
Walter Wanger .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Alfred Newman (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Leon Shamroy (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Daniel Mandell 
Art Direction by
Alexander Toluboff 
Costume Design by
Helen Taylor 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Lee .... assistant director
Sound Department
Frank Maher .... sound
Chuck Hamilton .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Burnett Guffey .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Raphael Penso .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Walter Wanger .... presenter
Hazel Adams .... stand-in: Sylvia Sidney (uncredited)
Vance Griffith .... stand-in: Barton MacLane (uncredited)
Joe Kenny .... stand-in: William Gargan (uncredited)
Robert Mitchell .... stand-in: Henry Fonda (uncredited)
Isabelle Sheridan .... stand-in: Jean Dixon (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
86 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:M | Finland:(Banned) (1937) (original rating) | Finland:K-16 (1937) (re-rating) | New Zealand:M | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #2944)

Did You Know?

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 »
Joan Graham:Anywhere's our home. On the road. Out there on a cold star. Anywhere's our home.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in You Only Live Twice (1967)See more »
A Thousand Dreams of YouSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
A superb commentary on the American judicial system and the romantic couple., 2 March 2004
Author: mek26 from Ithaca NY

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (41 total) »

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Crime section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.