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Let Us Live (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 21 July 1939 (France)
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 »



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
'Brick' Tennant
Lieutenant Everett
Joe Linden
District Attorney
Chief of Police
Joe Taylor (as Peter Lynn)
George Douglas ...
Ed Walsh
Phillip Trent ...
Frank Burke (as Philip Trent)


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


A Magnificent Drama For All The People Who Make Up America! See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 July 1939 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Laissez-nous vivre  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn had planned a bigger production, but after much political pressure from Massachusetts the film's budget and publicity were scaled down considerably. See more »


Spun-off from You Only Live Once (1937) See more »


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

A strange little film right before the official start of films noir
5 October 2007 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

This is a dark tale about two likable people. Well, three, if we count Ralph Bellamy: He is tossed at us in medias res and is not convincing as a police lieutenant.

The young lovers are Maureen O'Sullivan and Henry Fonda. He drives a cab. She works in a restaurant. He wants them to marry and is planning to buy a cab and maybe a few, to start a fleet.

Two decades before he starred in the Hitchcock film of this name, though, he is the wrong man. Not for the adoring (and lovely) O' Sullivan. No, he is erroneously arrested for a robbery -- and falsely identified by a pack of jackals who'd been at the crime scene.

One thing I noticed is the response O'Sullivan has when he takes her to look at some nice little homes. She's thrilled and grateful. It's amusing to contrast this to the scornful way the Audrey Totter character acts when Richard Basehart, her unwisely adoring husband in "Tension," takes her to see a little house in the suburbs he's picked out for them.

Lucien Ballard was a marvelous cinematographer -- here and always. This movie has the feel of German Expressionism, which includes a Weill-like musical score. But I'm not sure how much of the Expressionism is intended and how much is a matter of budget: For example, there are several scenes in which snow falls. The snow has a highly unreal look. It really LOOKS like soap flakes. And in an early scene when O'Sullivan humors a drunk at the restaurant where she works, the other diners laugh in the oddest way: We're meant to feel they take it in a goodhearted manner. But it sounds for all the world like a laugh track or the audience at a vaudeville show.

The change in Fonda is very impressive. I really empathized with his feeling at the start that everything is going his way; that the world is a wonderful place to be. If this were a musical comedy, a song to that effect would have followed. But Fonda didn't make musicals. It's pretty clear that he's going to be disabused of this notion; I've been there too. And he is indeed.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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