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Let Us Live (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 21 July 1939 (France)
Two innocent men are wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The fiance of one of them convinces a police detective of their innocence, and together they try to find the real ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Mary Roberts
... 'Brick' Tennant
... Lieutenant Everett
... Joe Linden
... District Attorney
... Chief of Police
... Joe Taylor (as Peter Lynn)
George Douglas ... Ed Walsh
... Frank Burke (as Philip Trent)
... Jimmy Dugan
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Storyline

Two innocent men are wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The fiance of one of them convinces a police detective of their innocence, and together they try to find the real killer before the men's execution date. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Magnificent Drama For All The People Who Make Up America! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 1939 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Laissez-nous vivre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn had planned a bigger production, but after much political pressure from Massachusetts the film's budget and publicity were scaled down considerably. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Horror Story: Orphans (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
(1808) (uncredited)
Music traditional
Played on a phonograph in death row
See more »

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User Reviews

 
an indictment against the death penalty
3 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

Maureen O'Sullivan and Henry Fonda star in "Let Us Live," a 1939 film also starring Ralph Bellamy. Fonda plays a cab driver engaged to O'Sullivan. He and the friend who is staying with him are arrested for a robbery/murder after being identified by witnesses in a lineup. They are convicted at trial and sentenced to death.

It falls to the investigating detective on the case (Bellamy) and O'Sullivan to work to clear the two men. Meanwhile, the two innocent men rot in jail with the clock ticking quickly toward execution.

This has to be the fastest trip to the gas chamber in history - we've all read the stories of people languishing on death row for 18 years. It seems like these guys only had a couple of weeks before their execution date.

The idea behind this film, though, is solid: The police believe they have the perpetrators, the DA doesn't want anything rocking the boat (even a similar robbery while the two men were in prison), and refuses to stay the executions.

I can never get over how much Jane Fonda looks like her dad when I see Fonda in early films. He gives an excellent performance here, that of a bitter, angry man convicted of something he didn't do. I always felt that Fonda as an actor became more internalized as he aged - I prefer the more emotional performances of his. O'Sullivan is energetic and determined as his fiancée, and Bellamy is good in the supporting role.

A dark, sobering film about the dangers of rushing to judgment.


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