On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.
Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.
Joe Norson, a poor letter carrier with a sweet, pregnant wife, yields to momentary temptation and steals $30,000 belonging to a pair of ruthless blackmailers who won't stop at murder. After a few days of soul-searching, Joe offers to return the money, only to find that the "friend" he left it with has absconded. Now every move Joe makes plunges him deeper into trouble, as he's pursued and pursuing through the shadowy, sinister side of New York.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Eddie Muller on TCM's Noir Alley (2017-10-15), Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell first appeared together in They Live by Night (1948), filmed at RKO Pictures in 1947 but put on the shelf by new studio boss Howard Hughes. Former RKO Production Chief Dore Schary feared the picture would never be released, so he paired the actors again in Side Street (1949) at his new studio, M-G-M. Hughes learned of this and, wanting to beat Schary to the punch, finally released "They Live by Night" in the USA in November 1949, just a few weeks before "Side Street" opened nationwide. See more »
When Joe is looking for Harriet, he is seen leaving the front of Marie's Crisis Cafe. Then in the next shot he appears to be inside the same place - note the pattern of the iron grating on the double windows and their location in each shot. See more »
Captain Walter Anderson:
New York City: an architectural jungle where fabulous wealth and the deepest squalor live side by side. New York: the busiest, the loneliest, the kindest, and the cruelest of cities. I live here and work here. My name is Walter Anderson. I'm one of an army of twenty thousand whose job is to protect the citizens in this city of eight million. So, twenty-four hours a day you'll find our men on Park Avenue... Times Square... Central Park... Fulton Market... the subway. ...
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Plot holes aside and not having to mind watching Farley Granger floundering rather pathetically, this is one heck of a noir. Worth it just for the location shooting. Tremendous shots of 50s New York City, probably as good as any archive material and if the plot verges on the silliness, everybody gives it their all. Great performances from the leads to the lowliest support. Much of that must be down to Mann and whether it was decided to use so much location shooting because of the budget or not it is truly awe inspiring from those opening aerial shots, the fantastic market area and the amazing chase through the streets at the end. So, not the most attention grabbing plot but still great viewing.
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