You Only Live Once (1937)
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as Eddie Taylor
as Joan "Jo" Graham
as Stephen Whitney
as Father Dolan
as Bonnie Graham
as Dr. Hill
as District Attorney
as Gas Station Attendant
Critic Reviews for You Only Live Once
What a great director can do with a stale story. This would be the usual killer-row and jailbreak episode were it not for Fritz Lang's amazing ability to vitalize whatever he directs.
This picture has both excitement and genuine feeling, and is recommended for everyone, except the very young.
Fritz Lang's second American film... remains one of his all-time greatest.
It always seems to be night and raining for its alienated main characters, who have only their love for each other to keep out the cold from the world.
It stands as a clear precursor for such revered love-on-the-run films as Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands and They Live By Night, but is perhaps better than any of them.
Audience Reviews for You Only Live Once
This film features a similar storyline to the Pre-Code Hollywood classic "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang," without the drama of it being a true story. This film also adds a fresh faced romantic interest, who powers much of the story and serves as the protagonist's main motivation. The narrative follows the story of former convict Eddie Taylor (Ford) who is finally going straight, as he marries his sweetheart Joan (Sidney) and tries to get a job. Though he tries to do good he's framed for theft and murder, and the rest of the film features him trying to clear his name and get back to his wife. The main moral of the story is not to discount those who are trying to get their lives back together, and the more important lesson is that when you believe someone will commit a crime, eventually they will have to, to be free. This is a narrative that could use more attention in our modern times, when recidivism is at an all-time high, and police brutality is in the national spotlight. While the film overall plies itself with melodrama all too often, it's a classic example of the way Fritz Lang made his films, utilizing the emotions of his audience while also showing a story steeped in violence. This isn't his absolute best film, but it is one of the more memorable, and one that I would recommend wholeheartedly.
quite good early lang and henry fonda and sylvia sidney have lovely chemistry together. it's an early 'lovers on the run' story, similar to ray's 'they live by night'. i don't really see how this isn't considered film noir except that it's just outside the time frame
This movie reminded me of better movies from the 40s. It's an alright story and all, but I couldn't get into it, the dialogue was less than average, and so was the acting. Overall, not a great movie, but not horrible, it does have a realistic story.