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.
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35mm. There was Yôko Tsukasa and Hideko Takamine in Mikio Naruse's "Midaregumo" and Midareru", and Yumeji Tsukioka in Kinuyo Tanaka's "Chibusa yo eien nare"/"The Eternal Breasts". Now, in that place, where all adjectives are in the superlative, i have among them, Susan Hayward, in one of the most iridescent performances by which my tears have run. Along with her, Wise with a superlative cinematographic construction.
"If you compare Dance With A Stranger with I Want To Live, you realize how poor a movie the British one is." - Quentin Crisp
"I like the film history of Los Angeles, and I'm constantly searching for the smogginess and dim-light of those old films... Susan Hayward in Smash-Up, or Susan Hayward in I Want To Live..." - Morrissey
An odd mix of blowsy melodrama and detailed execution procedure. Rather camp in retrospect - Hayward's perm and make-up remains intact regardless of mounting prison life - but it's essential libertarian message remains true.
The Camus and (bookending/repeated!) Ed Montgomery onscreen-title commentaries are superfluous; the two dignitaries would've been much better left to say their piece from outside the celluloid itself. But otherwise, some very fine stuff -- more CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE/SET-UP Wise than SOUND OF MUSIC WIse. The courtroom bit(s) is/are...courtroom bits, perhaps a bit more precise/intense than usual.