IMDb > Nobody Lives Forever (1946)
Nobody Lives Forever
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Nobody Lives Forever (1946) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
W.R. Burnett (original screenplay)
View company contact information for Nobody Lives Forever on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 November 1946 (USA) See more »
G.I. Nick Blake, a never charged con man in his pre-military life, has just received an honorable discharge from the army on medical reasons... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Meanwhile, back on the home front... See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Garfield ... Nick Blake

Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Gladys Halvorsen

Walter Brennan ... Pop Gruber

Faye Emerson ... Toni Blackburn

George Coulouris ... Doc Ganson

George Tobias ... Al Doyle

Robert Shayne ... Chet King

Richard Gaines ... Charles Manning

Richard Erdman ... Bellboy, The Marwood Arms (as Dick Erdman)

James Flavin ... Shake Thomas

Ralph Peters ... Windy Mather
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Fred Kelsey ... Railroad Conductor (scenes deleted)

Robert Arthur ... Bellhop (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Barfly (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Hotel Waiter (uncredited)
John Conte ... (uncredited)
Adrian Droeshout ... Bar Patron (uncredited)

Ralph Dunn ... Ben, Watchman / Henchman (uncredited)
William Edmunds ... Mission Priest (uncredited)

William Forrest ... Mr. Johnson, District Attorney's Aide (uncredited)
Joel Friedkin ... Storekeeper (uncredited)
Rudolf Friml Jr. ... Orchestra leader (uncredited)

Kit Guard ... Sailor in Max's Cafe (uncredited)
Alex Havier ... Telesfero aka Tes (uncredited)

Marion Martin ... Lou, Blonde (uncredited)
George Meader ... Mr. Evans, Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Roger Neury ... Andre, the Headwaiter (uncredited)

William H. O'Brien ... Waiter (uncredited)

Virginia Patton ... Switchboard Operator (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Paul Power ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Allan Ray ... Art (uncredited)

Cyril Ring ... Blond's Escort (uncredited)
Wallace Scott ... Drunk (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Bob, Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Waiter at Coast Cafe (uncredited)

Grady Sutton ... Horace, the Counterman at Joe's Diner (uncredited)
Albert Van Antwerp ... Tough Waiter (uncredited)
Jack Wise ... Customer with Slot Machine Jackpot (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Negulesco 
Writing credits
W.R. Burnett (original screenplay)

W.R. Burnett  novel "I Wasn't Born Yesterday" (uncredited)

Produced by
Robert Buckner .... producer
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
Cinematography by
Arthur Edeson 
Film Editing by
Rudi Fehr 
Art Direction by
Hugh Reticker 
Max Parker (supervising art director) (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Casey Roberts 
Costume Design by
Milo Anderson 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ridgeway Callow .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Dolph Thomas .... sound recordist
Gerald W. Alexander .... re-recording and effects mixer (uncredited)
Robert G. Wayne .... re-recording and effects mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
William C. McGann .... special effects director
Willard Van Enger .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Paul Detlefsen .... matte paintings (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Jerome Moross .... orchestrator
Charles David Forrest .... music mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Herschel Daugherty .... dialogue director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • RCA  sound system

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

When Nick leaves the hospital at the beginning of the film, the patch on his uniform's left shoulder indicates he was a member of the U.S. Army's First Infantry Division, nicknamed "The Big Red One". Later in the film Nick mentions seeing destroyed churches in Italy. The 1st Inf. Division saw action in Sicily, as well as North Africa, the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge and through the heart of Germany, ending up in Czechoslovakia by the end of the war.See more »
Continuity: As Pop is proposing the con on the widow to Nick and Al, the same couple (a blonde and a man in a vertically striped robe) walks past the window along the beach from right to left twice.See more »
Nick Blake:[First Lines]
Nick Blake:This was the view from my window in the Army hospital on Governor's Island.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Likes of Louise (1974)See more »
You AgainSee more »


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39 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
Meanwhile, back on the home front..., 29 November 2006
Author: imogensara_smith from New York City

Many films from the mid-forties deal with men struggling to readjust to their civilian lives after their wartime service. NOBODY LIVES FOREVER offers a twist: the hero's pre-war career was as a successful con artist. He doesn't have any trouble getting his job back, but does he still want it? World War II is a source of anxiety and moral confusion in many postwar noirs, but this film (set during the war) suggests that a stint with Uncle Sam can straighten out a crooked guy.

In contrast to the convoluted plots so common in noir, this is a simple story. Just out of the army, Nick Blake (John Garfield) returns to New York to find his girlfriend has given the money he left in her keeping to another man. After clearing up that little business, he takes off for Los Angeles, where he is talked into fleecing a rich widow, Gladys Halvorson (Geraldine Fitzgerald.) Guess what? He falls for her and wants out, but has to deal with his vengeful accomplices. The plot is unoriginal but also foolproof, and the film's leisurely pace and rich characterizations are the primary appeal, evoking a raffish, Runyonesque world. Leading the troupe of colorful character actors is George Tobias as Blake's sidekick Al Doyle, who doesn't do much except tag along for the ride, cracking wise in thick New Yorkese and complaining bitterly when he realizes Nick has "gone overboard for this tomato." Walter Brennan is Pop Gruber, Nick's boyhood mentor in crime, now down on his luck and scraping a living with a telescope, selling "the moon and stars for a dime" and picking the pockets of his drunken customers. Then there's cadaverous, sinister George Colouris as Doc, a has-been con man consumed by jealousy of Nick. Even the smallest characters—from an ex-jockey bellboy to the counterman in an all-night diner who can't stand to hear the words "java" or "pal"—add flavor; they're a great bunch of "cheap, hungry chiselers." Richard Gaines (Jean Arthur's fiancé, Mr. Pendergast, in THE MORE THE MERRIER) is also amusing as Manning, the widow's business manager, whose only interest in life is golf. Only Faye Emerson, as the nightclub singer who betrayed Nick while he was overseas and keeps turning up for vague plot purposes, misfires; she sings well, but she's a little too bony, toothy and disgruntled for a femme fatale.

When someone suggests that after his sabbatical in the army Nick might not be up to conning the widow, he snaps scornfully, "For me that would be like turning over in bed." The same is true for Garfield playing this morally-conflicted-tough-guy role—but he never lets you feel he's just going through the motions. His performance is split between his "Jewish Jimmy Cagney" persona, spitting out lines like, "Come up with a rod and I'll make you eat it," and his sexy romancer mode. When he turns on the charm, his mark starts to melt like a snowman under a sun lamp. (I can sympathize, being a pushover for Garfield myself.) Geraldine Fitzgerald is lovely and gracious, with a frail, childlike innocence guaranteed to soften the toughest guy.

There are some scenes in smoky back-rooms, and a terrific show-down on a misty oil rig, but this noir is really about as dark as chocolate ice cream. It's full of low-key charm, often stemming from the culture clash between the mugs and the ritzy world they invade. Nick belies his pose as a sophisticate by making paper airplanes out of his program during a concert of classical music. ("Don't you adore Bach?" Manning asks, and Al, awoken from a deep slumber, replies, "Bock? Yeah, cold, with a nice big head on it.") Nick is also uncomfortable leading Gladys through a rumba ("A man looks sort of silly doing this") and looks like a fish out of water when she takes him to the mission of San Juan Capistrano. As was the case with Garfield (the former Julie Garfinkle) in Hollywood, it's precisely Nick's streetwise grit and bad-boy charm that win over the classy dame.

NOBODY LIVES FOREVER was the last film at Warner Brothers for both Garfield and Fitzgerald, who were equally thrilled to escape the studio. Garfield went on to form an independent company that produced his finest films, including BODY AND SOUL and FORCE OF EVIL. He and many others had good reason to resent the studio's relentless pigeonholing and the poor material they were sometimes forced to accept; but this farewell film is a reminder of what the factory system had going for it: a reliable output of supremely watchable movies. With its witty script, easy craftsmanship and excellent cast, NOBODY LIVES FOREVER is a prime example of how good an average, formulaic studio product could be during Hollywood's "golden age." It's a shame that, like so much of Garfield's output, this film is so hard to find.

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