Second star for having a social conscience. Only Hollywood could be so dumb and conceited to screw up a Fritz Lang film so deeply. What a gift to have had him over here and they didn't have the savvy to cut him loose. Formulaic unimaginative tasteless bastards. Cheated history of so much and fell over themselves making horse pucky like Mr Blanding's Dream House, while steering Lang's vehicle into a pile of cheese.
Technically pre-film noir but it's actually noir through and through (thanks, Fritz): expressive, oneiric, convulsive, deeply critical of the American criminal justice system and of American society more generally (with bystanders ready to blame every wrongdoing on the scary ex-con who's "beyond saving"). I also love the film's whimsical use of sound, with both frogs and Fonda's half-singing playing key roles.
Magnificent little noir I was entirely unaware of. Fritz Lang already had a mastery over the form by the time he came to America, I can only imagine how much more he had done with the extra 15 minutes of footage. Henry Fonda is such a star, spanning the range of his performances in The Wrong Man and Once Upon A Time In The West all in one film, and all with just his eyes.
One of the better noirs I've seen, but a subgenre suggests itself: amour-noir....Has some nice symbolic touches, tho I suppose that's why Fritz Lang is a capital a auteur... I wouldn't mind watching this again sometime to appreciate more some of those touches...and remember, kid, you only live once, (in this form at least)...live it well...
For my money, this is equally good as Lang's American debut Fury. Sylvia Sidney returns and is joined by a young Fonda who almost seems to be practicing for his Tom Joad role years later. Acting is first rate, and some of the scenes such as the foggy prison scene with the priest really leave a lasting impression. Bleak and dark as anything made in Hollywood at this time, this is must see 30s American cinema. 5 stars
Not quite film noir. It's not fatalistic enough! It's an OK drama. Uncomfortably close to melodrama at times. Other times, it's quite engaging. The cinematography is very good. Too much use of fog, but good use of light and shadow. At the 43-minute mark, watch for the gorgeous shot of the bars of the jail cell casting shadows across the floor.
A beautiful story of an ex-con trying to catch a break, and a wife who's love for him not only blinds her, it almost gets her husband killed. A great story on the lengths people can go for the ones that they love, even when they make horrible mistakes like robbery and murder. A film that has a truly star studded cast and a cast that can preform their roles with heart, spirit and true talent
I enjoyed this movie because Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney had lovely chemistry together. It gave me an early 'lovers on the run' story vibe. In some parts I couldn't get into the dialogue it was less than average, and so was the acting. It was an okay movie. It was a realistic story in a sense. The direction Lang was going in the film was good. I was able to get somethings out of watching it.
Great film,would recommend it to anyone who is into love stories.I love the references to Romeo & Juliet,however I also see a reference to Bonnie & Clyde with being on the run.Enjoyed every moment of this film.The actors were amazing, portrayed their characters amazingly.The scenes of the jail and the courtyard really captured the feels of being in jail.Plus how society sees criminals & not forgiving their crime.
This film shows the crazy lengths some people would go to for love. I usually do not like to watch movies about love but I did enjoy the plot of this one. I also enjoyed the theme of "don't judge a book by it's cover" when they accuse Taylor of the robbery based off his past records. There are many wonderful lines in this film like "First they kill the chicken, Taylor eats the chicken, then they kill Taylor."
This movie has no connection whatever with Bonnie and Clyde. The most significant aspect of the film is its class distinctions. Police class, moral class, and outcast. The fastest filmed trip from offense to death row, yet when the dilatory pardon happens, the story takes off in a flurry to its bitter end. Great to see Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney in a time we cannot conceive.
Resonant even in 2017. Though I imagine Fonda’s character might now be played by someone like Oscar Issac or Michael B. Jordan. This is not Lang’s boldest work as an auteur, but you can see— especially in the prison scenes, the shot of the wife enclosed in that steel window frame— some of his marvelous work as a pioneering cinematographer.
The Hayes Code demanded that the "bad guy" gets punished but it is really society that is being condemned here. America imprisons more people per capita than any country in the Western World. We spend more $$$$$ imprisoning and killing people than we do making sure that every one has a fair chance in life. The system was rotten in 1937, and 80 years later it's even worse.
Hidden gem of an old crime drama. Shot in a very Noir-ish style, it certainly plays out with similar despair and anxiety as most of that genre. Lang shoots the film with a great eye of framing and storytelling. The performances are full of desperation and desire. Bordering on melodrama, it never quite crosses the line. A credit to the actors as well as the director. Quite well crafted.
The story was exceptional in itself, I especially enjoyed the overall plot of the film. It brought something I haven't experienced before. The desperate acts of love provided by both characters allowed me insight into the true nature of the mind set of a wrongfully convicted man hell bent on keeping straight. The film seems to almost allude to a Bonnie and Clyde theme, which at the time is expected.
You Only Live Once very much lived up to its title in regards to its theme. The beginning was very intriguing and made you feel sympathy for Eddie as he was trying to finally get on the right path, but is stereotyped only as an ex-con. But when he gets caught up within another unfortunate crime, I found myself questioning his credibility. Eventually it became a bit Bonnie & Clyde-esque, so the ending was predictable.