I Want to Live! (1958)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  18 November 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,114 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 23 critic

A prostitute, sentenced to death for alleged murder, pleads her innocence.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Don M. Mankiewicz) , 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward S. 'Ed' Montgomery
Virginia Vincent ...
Carl G.G. Palmberg
Wesley Lau ...
Henry L. Graham
Philip Coolidge ...
Emmett Perkins
Lou Krugman ...
John R. 'Jack' Santo
Bruce King
Bartlett Robinson ...
District Attorney Milton
Gage Clarke ...
Attorney Richard G. Tibrow
Joe De Santis ...
Al Matthews
Father Devers
San Quentin Warden
Alice Backes ...
Barbara, San Quentin Nurse
Gertrude Flynn ...
San Quentin Matron


Barbara Graham is a woman with dubious moral standards, often a guest in seedy bars. She has been sentenced for some petty crimes. Two men she knows murder an older woman. When they get caught they start to think that Barbara has helped the police to arrest them. As a revenge they tell the police that Barbara is the murderer. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Barbara Graham's Last Scream From Gas Chamber...


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Release Date:

18 November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbara Graham Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based on the life of Barbara Graham, whose murder trial and controversial execution in 1955 made her a cause celebre. See more »


When Barbara's son is brought to the jail for a visit, and the presence of the news media upsets Barbara, she retreats to an interior area of the jail and pounds on the wall in frustration. The "brick" wall gives slightly as he throws her weight onto it. See more »


Barbara Graham: I never even knew the dame.
Police lieutenant: You know she's been murdered, don't you?
Barbara Graham: Yeah. So was Julius Caesar. I didn't know him either.
See more »


Referenced in Female Trouble (1974) See more »


Performed by:
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Bud Shank (alto sax and flute)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Susan Hayward was Fantastic
6 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Always enjoyed most of the films that Susan Hayward appeared in and her acting was outstanding and she was a very beautiful lady of the Silver Screen. In this True to Live Story, Susan plays, Barbara Graham,(Valley of the Dolls",'67, who loves life, having a good time and also a con-artist who does petty things. However, Barbara gets involved with some so called friends who sort of sell her down the river and her life becomes very complicated and at times very tragic. Susan Hayward holds the picture together with outstanding acting and portrays the horrible facts of life Barbara Graham had to encounter in all kinds of disappointing situations. Great film, don't miss it.

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Was Barbara Graham ever found innocent after her execution? ragtimeacres
Married to her oldest son FinoFino2
Anyone ever see a tacked on ending to this movie? hawktwo
Two points to raise brand78
Obscure props glitch, re: San Quentin 'Telechron' Clock s-j
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