IMDb > They Live by Night (1948)
They Live by Night
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They Live by Night (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   3,710 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Charles Schnee (screenplay)
Nicholas Ray (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for They Live by Night on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Cops or no cops I'm going through!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
A Wonderful Film in the Tradition of "Bonnie and Clyde" See more (43 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cathy O'Donnell ... Keechie

Farley Granger ... Bowie
Howard Da Silva ... Chickamaw

Jay C. Flippen ... T-Dub
Helen Craig ... Mattie

Will Wright ... Mobley
William Phipps ... Young Farmer

Ian Wolfe ... Hawkins
Harry Harvey ... Hagenheimer
Marie Bryant ... Singer

Will Lee ... Jeweler
James Nolan ... Schreiber (as Jim Nolan)
Charles Meredith ... Comm. Hubbell
Teddy Infuhr ... Alvin
Byron Foulger ... Lambert
Guy Beach ... Plumber (as Guy L. Beach)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jane Allen ... Woman (uncredited)
Paul Bakanas ... Shadow (uncredited)
Regan Callais ... Young Wife (uncredited)
Lewis Charles ... Auto Lot Attendant (uncredited)
Curt Conway ... Man in Tuxedo (uncredited)
Suzi Crandall ... Lulu (uncredited)
Helen Crozier ... Nurse (uncredited)
Boyd Davis ... Herman (uncredited)
Gail Davis ... Girl at Parking Lot (uncredited)
James Dobson ... Boy at Parking Lot (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Policeman (uncredited)
Frank Ferguson ... Bum (uncredited)
Dan Foster ... Groom (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Eula Guy ... Mrs. Haviland (uncredited)
N.L. Hitch ... Bus Driver (uncredited)
J. Louis Johnson ... Restroom Porter (uncredited)
Chester Jones ... Waiter in Nightclub (uncredited)
Tom Kennedy ... Cop (uncredited)
Kate Drain Lawson ... Tillie (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Robert Mansfield, Mattie's Husband (uncredited)
Myra Marsh ... Mrs. Schaeffer (uncredited)
Marilyn Mercer ... Bride (uncredited)
Carmen Morales ... Mother on Bus (uncredited)
Jimmy Moss ... Boy on Bus (uncredited)
Stanley Prager ... Short Order Man (uncredited)
Erskine Sanford ... Doctor (uncredited)
Mickey Simpson ... Shadow (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Tailor (uncredited)
Russ Whiteman ... Man (uncredited)
Lynn Whitney ... Waitress (uncredited)
Douglas Williams ... Drunk (uncredited)

Directed by
Nicholas Ray 
 
Writing credits
Charles Schnee (screenplay)

Nicholas Ray (adaptation)

Edward Anderson (novel "Thieves Like Us")

Produced by
John Houseman .... producer
Dore Schary .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Leigh Harline 
Woody Guthrie (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
George E. Diskant (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Sherman Todd 
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Alfred Herman  (as Al Herman)
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
Maurice Yates (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Adele Balkan (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
Helen Grizuk .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
James H. Anderson .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James Lane .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
John L. Cass .... sound (as John Cass)
Clem Portman .... sound
Roy Meadows .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Russell A. Cully .... special effects (as Russell A.Cully)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Edward Bergholz .... camera operator (uncredited)
Paul Ivano .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Ollie Sigurdson .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
 
Other crew
Samuel Goldwyn .... Cathy O'Donnell and Farley Granger appear by arrangement with
Dore Schary .... presenter
Knute Flint .... helicopter pilot (uncredited)
Mercy Weireter .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:12 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1950) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #12567)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Robert Mitchum lobbied unsuccessfully for the role of Chicamaw. He told Nicholas Ray that he was very familiar with bank robbers and chain gangs, and even cut and dyed his hair black (in the original treatment Chicamaw was an Indian). He was rejected because he had recently been nominated for an Oscar, and a supporting role was considered unworthy for a rising star.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: The breeze on the bushes makes it obvious that a helicopter is shooting the opening scene.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Your Red WagonSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
A Wonderful Film in the Tradition of "Bonnie and Clyde", 17 May 2006
Author: evanston_dad from United States

"They Live By Night" joins "Gun Crazy" (1949) and "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) to form a little trilogy of remarkable films in the "lovers-on-the-lam" sub-genre. Nicholas Ray's film has much in common with "Gun Crazy," both in look and theme, but it's a much warmer and more emotionally effective piece of film-making. Peggy Cummins gave a fascinating performance in "Gun Crazy" as a flinty, unbelievably callous femme fatale; Cathy O'Donnell in "They Live By Night" will break your heart.

Indeed, the acting is probably this film's greatest asset, and it enables what in all respects is a B movie to feel like an A one. Farley Granger and O'Donnell bring wonderful nuances to their roles, and they have a naturalistic style of acting that feels ahead of its time when compared to other films from the same period. Howard da Silva is also tremendous in the supporting role of Chickamaw, managing to create a grotesque character who nevertheless feels at home in the very human world created by Ray. And Helen Craig shines in a small but vital role as Mattie, who may be the most heartless character in the film.

At a time when America most likely just wanted to hurry up and get everything back to normal, how shocking that a film like this would emerge. The domestic contentment that Granger and O'Donnell establish for themselves is a sham; they know it and we know it. They're living on borrowed time, and the things that the average American strived for in a booming post-war climate--loving spouse, children, safe and secure home--exist in this film as taunting reminders of blessings this couple can never have.

And the ending---that could have been so sentimental and is instead in Ray's hands so spare and sad---just may well take your breath away.

Grade: A+

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Quotation LouisRenault
That's Your Red Wagon brada-7
Great Nicholas Ray film noir freakyfelix
Looks like Gloria Grahame mimimo62
Most angled hat in any films? laststripsearch
Will Lee The-Gift-of-Gag
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