7.0/10
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21 user 10 critic

Nobody Lives Forever (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 November 1946 (USA)
Ex-GI Nick Blake gets involved in a scheme to fleece a rich, young widow, but finds himself falling for her, much to the displeasure of his racketeer cohorts.

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writer:

W.R. Burnett (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Garfield ... Nick Blake
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Gladys Halvorsen
Walter Brennan ... Pop Gruber
Faye Emerson ... Toni Blackburn
George Coulouris ... Doc Ganson
George Tobias ... Al Doyle
Robert Shayne ... Chet King
Richard Gaines ... Charles Manning
Richard Erdman ... Bellboy, The Marwood Arms (as Dick Erdman)
James Flavin ... Shake Thomas
Ralph Peters ... Windy Mather
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred Kelsey ... Railroad Conductor (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

G.I. Nick Blake, a never charged con man in his pre-military life, has just received an honorable discharge from the army on medical reasons. Rather than return to his old life, he plans to settle down in New York, his hometown, with his girlfriend Toni Blackburn and the small cache of money he amassed prior to the war: $50,000. When that plan does not pan out, he decides to head to Los Angeles with his con man friend Al Doyle and live it up until he decides on a more permanent course for his life. He is informed by Pop Gruber, an aging mentor doing solely penny-ante street cons now in L.A., of a potential big mark. Doc Ganson, a former con associate, found the mark, lonely widow Gladys Halvorsen worth $2 million, but does not have either the bankroll or the charms to carry out the con on Gladys himself. With Al running interference for him, Nick agrees both to bankroll and carry out the con, he negotiating two-thirds of the take for himself, leaving Doc and his two associates a ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I killed a man for this kiss so you better make it good !

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amor de Salvação See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The set for the house John Garfield rents in California is the same set, although partly rearranged, used for Christmas in Connecticut (1945) with Barbara Stanwyck & Dennis Morgan. See more »

Goofs

As Pop is proposing the con on the widow to Nick and Al, the same couple (a blonde and a man in a vertically striped robe) walks past the window along the beach from right to left twice. See more »

Quotes

Nick Blake: [First Lines]
[voice-over]
Nick Blake: This was the view from my window in the Army hospital on Governor's Island.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Garfield (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Fence Me In
(uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played on the juke box in the bar
See more »

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User Reviews

Promising Noir -- Mixed Results
12 January 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The first half sets up a promising noir as returning vet and con-man Nick Blake (Garfield) deals with double-crossing sweetie Toni (Emerson) and a civilian life changed by the war. To get better bearings, he relocates to the coast of Southern California, whose miles of sun- drenched, sandy beaches looks like an advertisement for the big post-war migration that was to follow. There he's persuaded to take up his old ways by fleecing a trusting rich widow played by Fitzgerald, only he gets more than he bargained for.

It's a well thought out screenplay (WR Burnett) that provides plausible motivation for most of the many twists and turns-- except for the sultry Toni's sudden presence in California, a padded segment that perhaps justifies the actress's featured billing. The young, ruggedly handsome Garfield is excellent, as usual, and makes a persuasive con artist. Ditto Fitzgerald, whose sweetly innocent beauty could turn any man's head, including Nick's. But especially good is George Tobias in a questionable role for noir of comic relief-- he manages to be both mildly amusing and convincingly tough as Nick's loyal henchman. And, of course, there's the great Walter Brennan as aging con-man with heart, Pop Gruber. Note also the atmospheric dive where Pop hangs out, with its clamorous clientele and a barkeep who really looks like he could handle them— director Negulesco knows how to stock an effective background.

The movie contains many elements of noir, as well as the fine cast. Despite these positive elements, Negulesco's slow, deliberate pacing is more consistent with a romantic or psychological approach than with a crime drama. Consider, the final sequence on the pier and how slow and drawn-out the action is, even draining away some of the intended suspense. Ditto the agonizing wait in the coffee shop—it's colorful with the counterman, but over-done, nevertheless. I agree with reviewers who think the movie ends up straddling several movie categories, without excelling at any. In my little book, the result comes across smoothly, but doesn't combine its parts into anything more memorable than a generally entertaining studio product.


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