7.5/10
7,067
62 user 68 critic

They Live by Night (1948)

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.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Charles Schnee (screen play), Nicholas Ray (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cathy O'Donnell ... Keechie
Farley Granger ... Bowie
Howard Da Silva ... Chickamaw
Jay C. Flippen ... T-Dub
Helen Craig Helen Craig ... Mattie
Will Wright ... Mobley
William Phipps ... Young Farmer
Ian Wolfe ... Hawkins
Harry Harvey ... Hagenheimer
Marie Bryant Marie Bryant ... Singer
Will Lee ... Jeweler
James Nolan ... Schreiber (as Jim Nolan)
Charles Meredith ... Comm. Hubbell
Teddy Infuhr Teddy Infuhr ... Alvin
Byron Foulger ... Lambert
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Storyline

Chickamaw, T-Dub and Bowie have just escaped from prison. While Chickamaw and T-Dub are hardened criminals - bank robbers - twenty-three year old Bowie, who has been in prison since he was sixteen, was wrongly convicted of murder. As he felt he was rotting behind bars, Bowie, when given this opportunity by his two older colleagues, believed his best path forward was to help Chickamaw and T-Dub in their upcoming heists, in a case of knowing there was a payback in they choosing him, to make enough money to hire a lawyer to clear his name of the murder conviction. The plan is to hide out with Chickamaw's alcoholic brother, Mobley, until they have enough money to make other arrangements. Also with them is Mobley's daughter, Keechie, who doesn't much like her life with her father or that of her uncle. In their time together, Bowie and Keechie form a bond, both emotional and romantic, they who begin to dream of a life together where Bowie would not always have to look behind his back for ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The headlines screamed their crime... but they told only half the story. Would YOU give these kids another chance? See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening helicopter shot was the first scene that Nicholas Ray ever directed. See more »

Goofs

The new Cadillac is seen to be covered with a tarpaulin. When the camera swings back to it, the tarpaulin has vanished. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Keechie: [reading Bowie's letter to herself, as she walks back to her cabin] "Hello girl. I'm gonna miss you, but I got to do it this way. I'll send for both of you when I can. No matter how long it takes, I got to see that kid. He's lucky. He'll have you to keep him squared around. I love you, Bowie."
[turns to look at Bowie's lifeless body on the ground, whispers]
Keechie: I love you.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits: This boy . . . and this girl . . . were never properly introduced to the world we live in . . . To tell their story . . . See more »

Connections

Featured in They Live by Night: The Twisted Road (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Leigh Harline
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User Reviews

 
An earlier, and just as involving, version of Thieves Like Us
23 January 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Nicholas Ray's first feature, in 1949, was an adaptation of the novel Thieves Like Us (which Robert Altman so memorably filmed in the mid-1970s). It's a bit of a surprise to encounter the same characters -- Bowie, Keechie, T-Dub et al. -- in postwar black-and-white. Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell play the star-crossed lovers later rended by Keith Carradine and Shelly Duvall, and they bring a vulnerable, doomed edge to this very interesting, tragic movie. (Granger may never have been better during his brief bout of stardom). The supporting cast isn't quite up to the level of Altman's (without Louise Fletcher and her odd little girl), but on the whole this remains an honorable and moving piece of film art -- and a vital instalment, along with the same year's Gun Crazy (also a tale of doomed, romantic outlaws), in the noir cycle.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Your Red Wagon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$808,397 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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