7.6/10
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46 user 51 critic

They Live by Night (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance | 5 November 1949 (USA)
An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Helen Craig ...
...
...
...
Hawkins
...
Hagenheimer
Marie Bryant ...
Singer
Will Lee ...
...
Schreiber (as Jim Nolan)
Charles Meredith ...
Comm. Hubbell
Teddy Infuhr ...
Alvin
...
Lambert
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Storyline

In the '40s, three prisoners flee from a state prison farm in Mississippi. Among them is 23-years-young Bowie, who spent the last seven years in prison and now hopes to be able to prove his innocence or retire to a home in the mountains and live in peace together with his new love, Keechie. But his criminal companions persuade him to participate in several heists, and soon the police believe him to be their leader and go after "Bowie the Kid" harder than ever. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cops or no cops I'm going through! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Your Red Wagon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Greer tested for the lead role. See more »

Goofs

The new Cadillac is seen to be covered with a tarpaulin. When the camera swings back to it, the tarpaulin has vanished. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Hawkins, Wedding Chapel Proprietor: [Bowie has just asked Hawkins to arrange a passage to Mexico for Keechie and himself] Son, I'd sure like that money. I'm old, and money's a real comfort to an old man. I believe in helping people get what they want as long as they pay for it. I marry people 'cos there's a little hope they'll be happy. But I can't take this money of yours. No sir. In a way I'm a thief just the same as you are, but I won't sell you hope when there ain't any.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: This boy . . . and this girl . . . were never properly introduced to the world we live in . . . To tell their story . . . See more »

Connections

Featured in I'm a Stranger Here Myself (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by Leigh Harline
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User Reviews

 
An earlier, and just as involving, version of Thieves Like Us
23 January 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Nicholas Ray's first feature, in 1949, was an adaptation of the novel Thieves Like Us (which Robert Altman so memorably filmed in the mid-1970s). It's a bit of a surprise to encounter the same characters -- Bowie, Keechie, T-Dub et al. -- in postwar black-and-white. Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell play the star-crossed lovers later rended by Keith Carradine and Shelly Duvall, and they bring a vulnerable, doomed edge to this very interesting, tragic movie. (Granger may never have been better during his brief bout of stardom). The supporting cast isn't quite up to the level of Altman's (without Louise Fletcher and her odd little girl), but on the whole this remains an honorable and moving piece of film art -- and a vital instalment, along with the same year's Gun Crazy (also a tale of doomed, romantic outlaws), in the noir cycle.


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