7.5/10
4,982
71 user 31 critic

I Want to Live! (1958)

A prostitute, sentenced to death for murder, pleads her innocence.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Nelson Gidding (screenplay), Don Mankiewicz (screenplay) (as Don M. Mankiewicz) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Hayward ... Barbara Graham
Simon Oakland ... Edward S. 'Ed' Montgomery
Virginia Vincent ... Peg
Theodore Bikel ... Carl G.G. Palmberg
Wesley Lau ... Henry L. Graham
Philip Coolidge ... Emmett Perkins
Lou Krugman Lou Krugman ... John R. 'Jack' Santo
James Philbrook James Philbrook ... Bruce King
Bartlett Robinson ... District Attorney Milton
Gage Clarke ... Attorney Richard G. Tibrow
Joe De Santis ... Al Matthews
John Marley ... Father Devers
Raymond Bailey ... San Quentin Warden
Alice Backes Alice Backes ... Barbara, San Quentin Nurse
Gertrude Flynn Gertrude Flynn ... San Quentin Matron
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Storyline

Barbara Graham is a woman with dubious moral standards, often a guest in seedy bars. She has been sentenced for some petty crimes. Two men she knows murder an older woman. When they get caught they start to think that Barbara has helped the police to arrest them. As a revenge they tell the police that Barbara is the murderer. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The murder trial that shook the world! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1958 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Barbara Graham Story See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Figaro See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara's actual response to the guard advising her to "take a deep breath, it's easier" was supposedly "how _the hell_ would you know". Apparently it had to be cleaned up for the 1958 audience, which is ironic given the rather graphic nature of the scene. See more »

Goofs

One of the newspaper writes Emmett Perkins name as Emmet. See more »

Quotes

Prison Matron: You've done your time and you're getting out. So watch yourself. You're on probation for five years. Don't leave the San Francisco area or otherwise violate your probation in any way. Or you'll be back here quick enough.
Barbara Graham: Oh, no ma'am, I won't.
Prison Matron: I hope you mean it... You do have a choice. People have managed to be fairly happy by *not* getting into trouble. Get a job! Maybe get married!
Barbara Graham: I have been... occasionally.
Prison Matron: Your way doesn't seem to be going too well. Why don't you try the other?
Barbara Graham: Thanks. ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with this statement: The pitiless story told in this film is a true story. This story had to be told to the whole world; the whole world should see it and hear it. What good are films if they do not make us face the realities of our time? Here is the reality of our time, and we have no right to be ignorant of it. The day will come when such documents will seem to us to refer to prehistoric times, and we shall consider them as unbelievable that in earlier centuries witches were burned or thieves had their right hands cut off. Such period of true civilization is still in the future, but this film has the honor of at least contributing to its coming". Albert Camus - Nobel Prize winner. See more »

Connections

Referenced in George Stevens: The Filmmakers Who Knew Him (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
....and the winner is Susan Hayward for " I Want To Live"
10 December 2007 | by AndersonWhitbeckSee all my reviews

I surely hope someone somewhere can retrieve the great night Susan Hayward won her Oscar...I recall Kim Novak and James Cagney presenting the Oscar with Kim Novak in her fabulous voice asking Mr. Cagney to "hurry up" when he sliced open the envelope, as Cagney saying "And the Winner is Susan Hayward for "I Want To Live". Thunderous applause and Susan Hayward was in fact called back for a curtain call. Has that ever happened before or since? ( It was no easy win for Susan Hayward was competing with Four fine actresses Liz Taylor, Roz Russell, Deborah Kerr and Shirley MacLaine all in well regarded performances)

I cannot imagine any actress other than Susan Hayward in this part. Robert Wise expert direction creates enormous tension as we know that Susan's character is going to die in the gas chamber.

Susan Hayward, Robert Wise, Producer Walter Wanger, and cinematographer Lionel Linden deserve great applause for their fine work. Filmed at Goldwyn Studio not Susan Hayward's home studio 20th, I always felt this gave her both more freedom to lose some of her famous 'on camera tricks' and experiment more, and also sans Hayward's usual crew she may have felt more vulnerable..whatever Hayward's performance is a wonder and all actors and actresses should study Susan Hayward's fine work in this film.

Robert Osborne on TCM praises this performance as one especially noteworthy in the history of female film acting. Ms. Hayward won the New York Film Critics and Golden Globe Awards prior to her great Oscar win.

Ms. Hayward died nearly 40 years ago yet Ms. Hayward's work remains topical and powerfully moving. Few could show the agony of a woman the way Ms. Hayward could. Her death at a relatively early age deprived us of many more performances from an Artist noted for brilliant work.


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