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>
Farley Granger plays Bowie, a young con who escapes from the pen with two hardened criminals, Chicamaw and T-Dub played respectively by Howard Da Silva and Jay C Flippen in They Live By Night, an aptly titled film if there ever was one. Da Silva and Flippen are both terrific here, as is Cathy O'Donnel as Keechie, Bowie's equally young girlfriend. The movie revolves around the relationship between them and their efforts to get away from the life of crime that is always a few steps behind them and also to try living like normal people, during the day, instead of at night, like their criminal associates. This was Nicholas Ray's first film as a director and it certainly was a worthy effort, as it has fine performances throughout, especially O'Donnels. As the film comes to a close, you can pretty well figure out the ending, but that doesn't detract from its potency, as they are let down by one of their own, blackmailed it seems by the cops.
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