A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
In the '40s, three prisoners flee from a state prison farm in Mississippi. Among them is 23-years-young Bowie, who spent the last seven years in prison and now hopes to be able to prove his innocence or retire to a home in the mountains and live in peace together with his new love, Keechie. But his criminal companions persuade him to participate in several heists, and soon the police believe him to be their leader and go after "Bowie the Kid" harder than ever.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
According to Eddie Muller on TCM's Noir Alley (2017-10-15), Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell first appeared together in They Live by Night (1948), filmed at RKO Pictures in 1947 but put on the shelf by new studio boss Howard Hughes. Former RKO Production Chief Dore Schary feared the picture would never be released, so he paired the actors again in Side Street (1950) at his new studio, M-G-M. Hughes learned of this and, wanting to beat Schary to the punch, finally released "They Live by Night" in the USA in November 1949, just a few weeks before "Side Street" opened nationwide. See more »
The reflection of the boom mic appears in the driver's side windshield at the 49:07 mark. See more »
[reading Bowie's letter to herself, as she walks back to her cabin]
"Hello girl. I'm gonna miss you, but I got to do it this way. I'll send for both of you when I can. No matter how long it takes, I got to see that kid. He's lucky. He'll have you to keep him squared around. I love you, Bowie."
[turns to look at Bowie's lifeless body on the ground, whispers]
I love you.
See more »
Opening credits: This boy . . . and this girl . . . were never properly introduced to the world we live in . . . To tell their story . . . See more »
Farley Granger plays Bowie, a young con who escapes from the pen with two hardened criminals, Chicamaw and T-Dub played respectively by Howard Da Silva and Jay C Flippen in They Live By Night, an aptly titled film if there ever was one. Da Silva and Flippen are both terrific here, as is Cathy O'Donnel as Keechie, Bowie's equally young girlfriend. The movie revolves around the relationship between them and their efforts to get away from the life of crime that is always a few steps behind them and also to try living like normal people, during the day, instead of at night, like their criminal associates. This was Nicholas Ray's first film as a director and it certainly was a worthy effort, as it has fine performances throughout, especially O'Donnels. As the film comes to a close, you can pretty well figure out the ending, but that doesn't detract from its potency, as they are let down by one of their own, blackmailed it seems by the cops.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this