IMDb > I Want to Live! (1958)
I Want to Live!
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I Want to Live! (1958) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.5/10   4,625 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Nelson Gidding (screenplay) and
Don Mankiewicz (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for I Want to Live! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 December 1958 (Italy) See more »
The true story of Barbara Graham-whose murder trial shocked the world! See more »
A prostitute, sentenced to death for murder, pleads her innocence. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 8 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the American tragedies because it's a true story! See more (66 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Susan Hayward ... Barbara Graham

Simon Oakland ... Edward S. 'Ed' Montgomery

Virginia Vincent ... Peg

Theodore Bikel ... Carl G.G. Palmberg

Wesley Lau ... Henry L. Graham

Philip Coolidge ... Emmett Perkins
Lou Krugman ... John R. 'Jack' Santo
James Philbrook ... Bruce King

Bartlett Robinson ... District Attorney Milton
Gage Clarke ... Attorney Richard G. Tibrow

Joe De Santis ... Al Matthews

John Marley ... Father Devers

Raymond Bailey ... San Quentin Warden
Alice Backes ... Barbara, San Quentin Nurse
Gertrude Flynn ... San Quentin Matron

Russell Thorson ... San Quentin Sgt.

Dabbs Greer ... San Quentin Capt.

Stafford Repp ... Police Sgt.

Gavin MacLeod ... Police Lt.
Wendell Holmes ... Detective
Gerry Mulligan ... Jazz Combo Member

Shelly Manne ... Jazz Combo Member
Red Mitchell ... Jazz Combo Member
Art Farmer ... Jazz Combo Member
Frank Rosolino ... Jazz Combo Member
Pete Jolly ... Jazz Combo Member
Bud Shank ... Jazz Combo Member
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leonard Bell ... San Francisco Hood (uncredited)

Olive Blakeney ... Corona Warden (uncredited)
Eumenio Blanco ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ... Reporter (uncredited)

Peter Breck ... Ben Miranda (uncredited)
George Bruggeman ... Bailiff (uncredited)
George Chester ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

Noble 'Kid' Chissell ... Guard (uncredited)
Pearl S. Cooper ... Convict (uncredited)
Russell Custer ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Charles Fredericks ... Sucker at Card Game (uncredited)
Wesley Gale ... Spectator Outside Courtroom (uncredited)

Lew Gallo ... Mr. Thomas - Undercover Cop at Bar (uncredited)

Paul Genge ... Police Inspector (uncredited)

John George ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Bobby Gilbert ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

James Gonzalez ... Reporter in Courtroom (uncredited)
Charles H. Gray ... Luke (uncredited)
Robert Haines ... Court Clerk (uncredited)

Brett Halsey ... Sailor at Party (uncredited)
Michael Hinn ... Bailiff (uncredited)

George Hoagland ... Reporter (uncredited)

Stuart Holmes ... Loafer with Cigar (uncredited)
Jason Johnson ... Bixel, the Landlord (uncredited)

Kenner G. Kemp ... Reporter in Courtroom (uncredited)

Helen Kleeb ... Prison Matron (uncredited)
Joseph La Cava ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Reporter in Courtroom (uncredited)

Rusty Lane ... Judge (uncredited)

S. John Launer ... San Quentin Officer (uncredited)

Len Lesser ... Charlie, Newspaperman (uncredited)

Jon Lormer ... San Quentin Doctor (uncredited)

Herbert Lytton ... Newspaperman (uncredited)
James Maloney ... Prison Dentist (uncredited)
Marion Marshall ... Rita (uncredited)

Ken Mayer ... Drunk at Party (uncredited)
Hans Moebus ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
George Nardelli ... Juror (uncredited)
Charles Perry ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

Joe Ploski ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

George Putnam ... George Putnam - TV Newsman (uncredited)
Fred Rapport ... Juror (uncredited)
Robert Robinson ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

Gene Roth ... Eric, Machinist (uncredited)

John Roy ... Attorney (uncredited)
Herman Rudin ... Detective (uncredited)

Cosmo Sardo ... Spectator Outside Courtroom (uncredited)
Evelyn Scott ... Personal Effects Clerk (uncredited)
Dan Sheridan ... Police Broadcaster (uncredited)
Bill Stout ... Bill Stout - TV Newsman (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Witness at Execution (uncredited)

Hope Summers ... Ethel - Policewoman on Bus (uncredited)
Lorna Thayer ... Corona Guard (uncredited)
Guy Way ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

Jack Weston ... NCO at Party (uncredited)
Bob Whitney ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Chalky Williams ... Bailiff (uncredited)

Than Wyenn ... San Francisico Hood (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Wise 
Writing credits
Nelson Gidding (screenplay) and
Don Mankiewicz (screenplay) (as Don M. Mankiewicz)

Ed Montgomery (newspaper articles)

Barbara Graham (letters)

Produced by
Walter Wanger .... producer
Original Music by
Johnny Mandel (jazz music) (as John Mandel)
Cinematography by
Lionel Lindon 
Film Editing by
William Hornbeck 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
Set Decoration by
Victor A. Gangelin  (as Victor Gangelin)
Ted Haworth (settings) (as Edward Haworth)
Makeup Department
Emmy Eckhardt .... hair stylist
Jack Stone .... makeup artist
Thomas Tuttle .... makeup artist (as Tom Tuttle)
Lillian Ugrin .... hair stylist (as Lillian Hokom Ugrin)
Production Management
Forrest E. Johnston .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
George Vieira .... assistant director
Sound Department
Fred Lau .... sound recordist
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Angela Alexander .... costumer
Wesley Jeffries .... costumer
Music Department
Art Farmer .... jazz musician
Johnny Mandel .... conductor (as John Mandel)
Shelly Manne .... jazz musician
Red Mitchell .... jazz musician
Gerry Mulligan .... jazz musician
Bud Shank .... jazz musician
Russ Freeman .... musician (uncredited)
Jack Sheldon .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Other crew
Ed Montgomery .... presenter (as Edmund S. Montgomery)
Stanley Scheuer .... script supervisor
Mary D. Mascari .... background actress (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
120 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:SOA | Finland:K-16 | Finland:(Banned) (1959) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:15 (video rating) (1998) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #19142) | West Germany:18

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 »
Continuity: When Barbara wakes up screaming from a nightmare, a prison matron comes in shining a flashlight on her. In close-up, the light has a Fresnel-type lens, but in the next long shot, the flashlight has a clear lens.See more »
Police Inspector:We have a tough, ugly job to do and you're making it tougher and uglier for all of us.
Barbara Graham:My heart bleeds for you. How can I help you Inspector, buy a few tickets to the policemen's ball?
See more »
Movie Connections:


Is "I Want to Live" based on a book?
Any recommendations for other movies that are set on Death Row?
Who is Barbara Graham?
See more »
42 out of 52 people found the following review useful.
One of the American tragedies because it's a true story!, 25 January 2000
Author: julianhwescott from United States

Filmed in stark black and white as I think all films of this nature should be, one sees the stark realism unfold of a woman's already messed up and sad life become a pitiful situation of which there isn't a return. One of America's real true tragedies where a woman is used as a pawn by the judicial system so that the State of California can really punish those that should have been and were punished. If it weren't for Barbara Graham's final outcome, the bad guys would still be alive today. If you are like me and love criminology and hate injustice, you must see this picture. Susan Hayward gave the performance of a lifetime and deservedly won the Oscar for best actress. The piece has this blues/jazzy type of music in the background which I think makes the film more realistic because it was the type of music that Barbara Graham loved. Do yourself a favor and see this one.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (66 total) »


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