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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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

21 July 1939 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Laissez-nous vivre  »

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(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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
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User Reviews

 
A Jocular Jackpot
14 August 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Borrowing Maureen O'Sullivan from MGM, Harry Cohn gave her top billing over Henry Fonda in Let Us Live about a wrongly convicted man on Death Row. There are two wrongly convicted men, Fonda and Alan Baxter both cab drivers. But it's Fonda whose wedding plans get so rudely interrupted when he and Baxter get arrested for a pair of robberies and a homicide that resulted from one of them.

The callousness of the 'system' will really get to you after a while. Fonda and Baxter are picked out of a lineup by victims and they do bear some resemblance to two of the trio of robbers and Fonda who was at the scene of one of the robberies earlier with O'Sullivan said something in a jocular vein that was used against him later. Still when a trio of men committed another armed robbery with fatalities in the same manner it wouldn't have impeded justice any to have issued a stay of execution. At least that's what Ralph Bellamy who was one of the original investigating detectives thinks. But the District Attorney Stanley Ridges wants finality and Bellamy and O'Sullivan have to race against the clock to find the real perpetrators.

Fonda was cast in this film no doubt on the strength of his performance in Fritz Lang's You Only Live Once as a prisoner in a similar jackpot. Later on he would be in Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man in yet another mistaken identity situation. But in Let Us Live with his musings about his situation he reminds me of one of his greatest roles that of Tom Joad in The Grapes Of Wrath who if you remember was also an ex-convict.

But while Fonda muses, the film is taken over by O'Sullivan and Bellamy who are a resourceful pair and enlist the help of some pretty good juvenile detectives to find crucial evidence.

I'm not an opponent of the death penalty per se, but this film shows the callousness that it is sometimes applied and a judicial system devised by man is not perfect. Let Us Live is a real sleeper among the work of Henry Fonda and should be better known.


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

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