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Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960)

 -  Drama  -  October 1960 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 232 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

In this sequel to "Knock On Any Door", the residents of a Chicago tenement building band together to insure that the son of Nick Romano does not follow in his father's footsteps...to the electric chair.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Judge Bruce Mallory Sullivan
...
Nellie Romano
...
Nick Romano
...
Barbara Holloway
...
Louie Ramponi
...
Flora
Rodolfo Acosta ...
Max (as Rudolph Acosta)
...
Grant Holloway
...
Fran
Bernie Hamilton ...
Goodbye George
Walter Burke ...
Wart
Francis De Sales ...
Night Court Magistrate
Michael Davis ...
Nick Romano - as a Child
Edit

Storyline

In this sequel to "Knock On Any Door", the residents of a Chicago tenement building band together to insure that the son of Nick Romano does not follow in his father's footsteps...to the electric chair.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ripped Raw and Roaring from Real Life!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reach for Tomorrow  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ella Fitzgerald's piano playing was ghosted by Cliff Smalls. Fitzgerald also recorded the songs "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," "Misty" and "Who's Sorry Now" but they weren't used in the film. Fitzgerald's album of music from the film was unavailable for years but has since been issued on CD under the title "The Intimate Ella." See more »

Goofs

After begging Bobbie and her father to leave his apartment, Nick slams the door shut, making the wall shake. See more »

Connections

Follows Knock on Any Door (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Give You Anything but Love
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
14 April 2008 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

James Darren (as Nick "Nicky" Romano) grows up innocently, in the slums of Chicago. He's the illegitimate son of the original "Nick Romano", from "Knock on Any Door" (1949). Gin-medicating mom Shelley Winters (as Nellie Romano) does the best she can raising Mr. Darren; she hopes his musical talent will help him to achieve a better life, unlike his father. Ms. Winters, to her credit, organizes a nurturing group of deadbeats. Chief among them is boozing co-dependent judge Burl Ives (as Bruce M. Sullivan). Together, they raise Darren well, but the Chicago underworld threatens to drag him down…

Interesting "sequel" (of sorts); actually, this is an adaptation of Willard Motley third novel, "Let No Man Write My Epitaph", which was a follow-up to his first, "Knock on Any Door". The earlier film starred John Derek and Humphrey Bogart, and lacked much of the realism needed to accurately tell the story. There are some allusions to the earlier film; the shot of the adult Romano (Darren) ascending a stairway recalls the earlier film, as does a picture of the original Romano. This film is much better scripted; and, importantly, Chicago denizens could be shown selling, and using, Heroin. The drug use becomes a very big part of the picture.

This film isn't without flaws; and, for most of the early running time, it teeters so close to plodding, soapy melodrama, you might get disenchanted. However, growing characterizations from the three leads, and nice location photography, enhance the production. Additionally, there are good supporting performances; from, for example, smarmy Ricardo Montalban (as Louie) and legless Walter Burke (as Wart). And, of course, Ella Fitzgerald (as Flora) sings beautifully.

Around the time (at about 1:11) Mr. Ives has a saloon scene with Ms. Fitzgerald in the background (after a fix), the film really takes off. Situations become significantly more obvious. Darren, Winters, and Ives have big dramatic, well-played scenes. The intensity of the film heightens, to quite a very exciting conclusion.

******* Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960) Phillip Leacock ~ James Darren, Shelley Winters, Burl Ives


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