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That I May Live (1937)

Crooks use a man's safe-cracking skills then involve him in more crime after he spends three years in jail. He falls in love with a waitress and they go to work for a traveling salesman.


Allan Dwan


Ben Markson (original screenplay), William M. Conselman (original screenplay) (as William Conselman)




Complete credited cast:
Rochelle Hudson ... Irene Howard
Robert Kent ... Dick Mannion
J. Edward Bromberg ... Tex Shapiro
Jack La Rue ... Charlie
Frank Conroy ... Pop
Fred Kelsey ... Abner Jenkins
George Cooper ... Mack
DeWitt Jennings ... Chief of Police
Russell Simpson ... Bish Plivens
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Kurt Plivens (as William Benedict)


Dick Mannion serves three years in prison for using his safe-cracking skills, and comes out determined to go straight. But the gang forces him to get involved again. He falls in love with a waitress, Irene Howard, and they take jobs with a traveling merchant, "Tex" Shapiro, to get away from the gang and the law. However, both catch up to them. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I've paid the penalty...why won't they let me live?"..."We've suffered enough...why don't they let us love?


Crime | Drama | Romance








Release Date:

30 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Forgotten Fox programmer reduced by 25 minutes
8 September 2017 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1937's "That I May Live" today survives in a 45 minute TV print shorn of 25 minutes, resulting in the loss of Lon Chaney's unbilled role as an engineer. The basic plot survives intact however, as convicted safecracker Dick Mannion (Robert Kent) falls in with the same gang that railroaded him for his earlier crime, joining up rather than be killed, only to be neatly framed yet again, this time for the murder of a bank guard. Disguising a monkey wrench as a gun fails to impress a strong willed waitress named Irene Howard (Rochelle Hudson), who intuits the stranger's compassion and soon has him on the path to success in partnership with a wandering peddler, Tex Shapiro (J. Edward Bromberg). Marriage and a baby finds the couple suddenly in danger once more, so Tex devises a plan to guarantee Dick's safety while Irene returns to her waitressing roots to entrap the gang that framed her husband before. There's no way of knowing just how much is missing from current prints, though much of it deals with the courtship of Irene and Dick. Lon Chaney fans can only hope that a complete version pops up someday, otherwise this one will be lumped in with other Fox titles that found him on the cutting room floor - "Love is News," "Born Reckless," and "Walking Down Broadway." Director Allan Dwan did work with Lon on "One Mile from Heaven," "Josette," and "Frontier Marshal," his opinion on this film summed up in a single word: "horrible."

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