7.5/10
6,308
56 user 69 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 (screenplay), Nicholas Ray (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
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

In the '40s, three prisoners flee from a state prison farm in Mississippi. Among them is 23-years-young Bowie, who spent the last seven years in prison and now hopes to be able to prove his innocence or retire to a home in the mountains and live in peace together with his new love, Keechie. But his criminal companions persuade him to participate in several heists, and soon the police believe him to be their leader and go after "Bowie the Kid" harder than ever. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Desperate... Hunted... Yet so in love! This is their story... The one the screaming headlines never told! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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 »
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

Nicholas Ray's first directing credit. See more »

Goofs

Chicamaw's right eye is okay in a brief scene toward the end. Otherwise, the eye is opaque. See more »

Quotes

Bowie: You said you weren't here when the pipes bust. Where were you?
[Keechie gives no response]
Bowie: I asked you where you were!
Keechie: Seein' a doctor.
Bowie: About what?
Keechie: The baby we're gonna have.
Bowie: [angry] Well, that's just fine. That's all I need!
Keechie: You don't see me knittin' anything, do you?
See more »

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 Mona Lisa (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Your Red Wagon
by Richard M. Jones, Don Raye and Gene de Paul (as Gene DePaul)
Performed by Marie Bryant (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Actually quite good
15 June 1999 | by Patsy-9See all my reviews

An early, nearly-forgotten picture from the director of "Rebel Without a Cause", this story of fugitive love (though not in the same was as "Bonnie and Clyde" or "Gun Crazy") is in its own right a rather accomplished picture.

Farley Granger is best remembered for his Hitchcock roles, and he gives a good, multifaceted performance. It's clear from the get-go that despite the company he keeps and despite his time in prison, he's really a scared, uncertain kid. Cathy O'Donnell is all but forgotten, but here gives a nearly Oscar-calibre performance, extremely convincing and appealing as his naive bride.

The film is also notable for early use of helicopter shots of cars, and for its refusal to vilify either the criminals or the cops (one of the policemen admits that "the system failed him", an astonishing statement for 1949).

All in all, a film which deserves to be resurrected from its obscurity.


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