7.4/10
4,710
41 user 36 critic

You Only Live Once (1937)

The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Gene Towne (screenplay), C. Graham Baker (screenplay) (as Graham Baker)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Fury (1936)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel
You and Me (1938)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Harry Carey
Man Hunt (1941)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in an affair with a co-worker's wife following a murder on a train where they meet.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York, and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the 1st administrator who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer
Western Union (1941)
Certificate: Passed History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Edward Creighton leads the construction of the Western Union to unite East with West, he hires a Western reformed outlaw and a tenderfoot Eastern surveyor.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Robert Young, Randolph Scott, Dean Jagger
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman, Jane Wyatt
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sylvia Sidney ... Joan Graham
Henry Fonda ... Eddie Taylor
Barton MacLane ... Stephen Whitney
Jean Dixon ... Bonnie Graham
William Gargan ... Father Dolan
Jerome Cowan ... Dr. Hill
Charles 'Chic' Sale ... Ethan (as Chic Sale)
Margaret Hamilton ... Hester
Warren Hymer ... Buggsy
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Roger (as Guinn Williams)
John Wray ... Warden Wheeler
Walter De Palma Walter De Palma ... Monk Mendall
Edit

Storyline

Joan is the secretary to the public defender in a large city. She is in love with a career criminal named Eddie, and she believes that he is a basically good person who just had some tough breaks. She uses her influence to get him released early, and he tries to go straight after marrying her, but things don't work out, and they both go on the lam. Written by Tim Horrigan <horrigan@eworld.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here's stark, spell-binding drama...raw, human, fervent...speaking right out -- pulling no punches...a dramatic thunderbolt that will shock you right out of your smugness! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Time Loser See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$575,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walter Wanger Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of two dozen Walter Wanger films re-released theatrically in the 1940s by Masterpiece Productions, and ultimately sold by them for US television syndication in 1950. It was first telecast in New York City on WCBS Saturday 26 August 1950. See more »

Quotes

Joan Graham: We may never find happiness
[says Joan during the escape]
Joan Graham: but we have the right to live.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Amália (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

A Thousand Dreams of You
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Alter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Light comedy and adorable romance give way to something darker in this hard-hitting melodrama
4 September 2009 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

Joan Graham is the secretary for Stephen Witney, an honest and dedicated public defender, who succeeds in doing something he would almost rather not do: get Joan's sweetheart, Eddie Taylor, out of prison. Eddie is a good man, but Joan's sister, Bonnie, and Stephen both agree that he is no good for Joan. Eddie was born trouble. Joan and Eddie get married and set out to prove the naysayers wrong. Eddie gets a good, steady job as a truck driver; but a series of disasters sends his life spiraling out of control and the fiercely loyal Joan's along with it.

Fritz Lang directs this hard-hitting melodrama and, as always, fills it with striking images. The shot of Eddie (Henry Fonda) in his cell, with the shadows of the bars reaching out to meet the bored and uninterested guard, stands out. The shots of a wide-eyed and desperate Fonda asking Joan (Sylvia Sidney) for a gun are a triumph for Lang, Fonda and Lang's cinematographer, Leon Shamroy. Lang also gets excellent work out of his editor, Daniel Mandell, who helps Lang to juxtapose images in a suggestive way, e.g. the shots of the frogs with shots of Joan and Eddie.

Standing back from the film and looking at is as a whole makes it something of a marvel. We begin with light comedy, proceed to an adorable romance and then follow the characters as their lives - and the film itself - grows steadily darker.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed