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544 Ratings

You Only Live Once

Directed by Fritz Lang
United States, 1937
Film noir


Joan is the secretary to the public defender in a large city. She is in love with a career criminal named Eddie, and she believes that he is a basically good person who just had some tough breaks.

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You Only Live Once Directed by Fritz Lang

Critics reviews

Lang films his fatalistic material with piercing close-ups—of hands wielding guns or surgical tools, of faces suffering from violence taking place just out of view off-screen—that convey emotion and elicit suspense via intense silence. That directorial restraint merely enhances the sense, also reflected in shots of Fonda and Sidney’s miserable faces framed by a window while talking at the prison, of life working to squeeze the unlucky couple to a pulp.
August 12, 2013
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By the time of You Only Live Once, Lang had found his American feet. He never succeeded quite so brilliantly again… However one may wish to defend oneself against Lang’s indictment of the small, faceless people, always available for any public ceremony and absent forever from any private one, who are society, one is left defenseless before his study of the result, which is the isolation and the doom of the lovers.
January 01, 1976
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