I Died a Thousand Times (1955)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  9 November 1955 (USA)
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Reviews: 23 user | 12 critic

When aging criminal Roy Earle is released from prison he decides to pull one last heist before retiring by robbing a resort hotel.



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Complete credited cast:
Roy Earle / Roy Collins
Lori Nelson ...
Chico (as Gonzalez Gonzalez)
Big Mac (as Lon Chaney)
Richard Davalos ...
Howard St. John ...
Olive Carey ...
Ralph Moody ...
James Millican ...
Bill Kennedy ...


During the 1950s California aging bank robber Roy "Mad Dog" Earle is pardoned after 8 years in prison.Once out of prison, Roy,at the request of his crime boss "Big Mac",decides to pull one more heist before retiring.His target is a fancy mountain resort hotel where employee Louis Mendoza is Roy's "inside man".Roy Earle's team of robbers include hotheaded Babe,Red and dance-hall girl Marie.Marie falls for Roy but he only thinks of innocent young girl Velma whom he recently met.Velma has a slight foot handicap and smitten Roy plans to pay for her foot surgery with his share of the loot.Unfortunately,the robbery doesn't go as planned. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The man of a thousand lives...and a crime in every one ! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 November 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Handful of Clouds  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dennis Hopper makes an early acting appearance as the boy that Shelley Winters dances with at the house party in L.A. See more »


As Roy Earle abandons his car, making his way up into the mountains through the snow, there are footprints, nearer to the camera, of someone who appears to have made a similar climb. See more »


Big Mac: [Pouring a drink] It's like the doc says... if i don't lay off this stuff, it's gonna knock ME off, but I'm gonna die anyway.
Big Mac: So are you.
Big Mac: So what? Nobody ever left this world alive.
[Holding up his glass]
Big Mac: To you, Roy!
See more »


Remake of High Sierra (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

Famed Bandit, Former No 1 On FBI List, Pardoned After Eight Years.
15 July 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I Died a Thousand Times is directed by Stuart Heisler and adapted to screenplay by W.R. Burnett from his own novel High Sierrra. It stars Jack Palance, Shelley Winters, Lori Nelson, Lee Marvin, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, Lon Chaney Junior and Earl Holliman. A CinemaScope/Warnercolor production, cinematography is by Ted McCord and music by David Buttolph.

It will always be debatable if remaking the excellent High Sierra (Raoul Walsh 1941) was needed or wanted by a 1950s audience? Especially since Walsh had himself already remade it as a Western with 1949 film Colorado Territory, but taken on its own terms, with great production value and Burnett's personal adaptation taken into consideration, it's a very enjoyable film.

Set up is simple, it's one last heist for Roy "Mad Dog" Earle (Palance) before going straight, but as his attempts to break free from his emotional loner status fall apart, so does the heist and his future is written in blood up in the mountains. Heisler and Burnett put Earle up front for character inspection, easing in sympathetic tones whilst ensuring he remains a big physical threat. The air of fatalism is pungent enough and the finale is excitingly staged by Heisler. Cast performances are more than adequate if not comparing to the likes of Bogart and Lupino, while the Warnercolor is gorgeous and the photography around the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine is superb.

While not in the same league as High Sierra, that doesn't mean this is a wash out, more so if you haven't seen Walsh's movie. If you have, like me (it's one of my favourite Bogart performances), then comparisons and a feeling of deja vu will obviously infiltrate your viewing experience. But there is more than enough here to make it worth your time regardless. 7/10

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