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Let Us Live (1939)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  21 July 1939 (France)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 215 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Two innocent men are wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The fiance of one of them convinces a police detective of their innocence, and together they try to find the real ... See full summary »

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Title: Let Us Live (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mary Roberts
...
'Brick' Tennant
...
Lieutenant Everett
Alan Baxter ...
Joe Linden
Stanley Ridges ...
District Attorney
Henry Kolker ...
Chief of Police
George Lynn ...
Joe Taylor (as Peter Lynn)
George Douglas ...
Ed Walsh
Phillip Trent ...
Frank Burke (as Philip Trent)
Martin Spellman ...
Jimmy Dugan
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Storyline

Two innocent men are wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The fiance of one of them convinces a police detective of their innocence, and together they try to find the real killer before the men's execution date. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A True Story . . . A Vivid Romance !

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 1939 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Laissez-nous vivre  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to The New York Times review, the title of Joseph F. Dinneen's story was "Murder in Massachusetts," but it was not mentioned in the credits because of a vague threat by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which did not wish any implication of inefficiency of its police, prosecutor or court system. The story was based on the fact that two taxicab drivers were identified by seven of eight witnesses as two of the three men who murdered a man during a 1934 theater robbery in Lynn, Massachusetts. Their trial was in progress for two weeks when the real killers were captured in New York City and confessed; the taxicab drivers were released and two of the three criminals were eventually executed. See more »

Connections

Featured in Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
(1808) (uncredited)
Music traditional
Played on a phonograph in death row
See more »

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User Reviews

 
an indictment against the death penalty
3 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Maureen O'Sullivan and Henry Fonda star in "Let Us Live," a 1939 film also starring Ralph Bellamy. Fonda plays a cab driver engaged to O'Sullivan. He and the friend who is staying with him are arrested for a robbery/murder after being identified by witnesses in a lineup. They are convicted at trial and sentenced to death.

It falls to the investigating detective on the case (Bellamy) and O'Sullivan to work to clear the two men. Meanwhile, the two innocent men rot in jail with the clock ticking quickly toward execution.

This has to be the fastest trip to the gas chamber in history - we've all read the stories of people languishing on death row for 18 years. It seems like these guys only had a couple of weeks before their execution date.

The idea behind this film, though, is solid: The police believe they have the perpetrators, the DA doesn't want anything rocking the boat (even a similar robbery while the two men were in prison), and refuses to stay the executions.

I can never get over how much Jane Fonda looks like her dad when I see Fonda in early films. He gives an excellent performance here, that of a bitter, angry man convicted of something he didn't do. I always felt that Fonda as an actor became more internalized as he aged - I prefer the more emotional performances of his. O'Sullivan is energetic and determined as his fiancée, and Bellamy is good in the supporting role.

A dark, sobering film about the dangers of rushing to judgment.


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