7.5/10
5,263
76 user 32 critic

I Want to Live! (1958)

A prostitute, sentenced to death for murder, pleads her innocence.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Nelson Gidding (screenplay), Don Mankiewicz (screenplay) (as Don M. Mankiewicz) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Hayward ... Barbara Graham
Simon Oakland ... Edward S. 'Ed' Montgomery
Virginia Vincent ... Peg
Theodore Bikel ... Carl G.G. Palmberg
Wesley Lau ... Henry L. Graham
Philip Coolidge ... Emmett Perkins
Lou Krugman Lou Krugman ... John R. 'Jack' Santo
James Philbrook ... Bruce King
Bartlett Robinson ... District Attorney Milton
Gage Clarke ... Attorney Richard G. Tibrow (as Gage Clark)
Joe De Santis ... Al Matthews
John Marley ... Father Devers
Raymond Bailey ... San Quentin Warden
Alice Backes Alice Backes ... Barbara, San Quentin Nurse
Gertrude Flynn ... San Quentin Matron
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Storyline

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. As a revenge they tell the police that Barbara is the murderer. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Barbara Graham's Last Scream From Gas Chamber... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1958 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Barbara Graham Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,383,578 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,641,711, 31 December 1958
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A woman named Betsy Ann Smith from Wakefield, Virginia, won a bit part in this film as a prize on The Price Is Right (1956). See more »

Goofs

When Barbara wakes up screaming from a nightmare, a prison matron comes in shining a flashlight on her. In close-up, the light has a Fresnel-type lens, but in the next long shot, the flashlight has a clear lens. See more »

Quotes

Corona Warden: [noticing that Barbara is wearing a negligee in her prison cell] I'm sorry, you can't wear that here.
Barbara Graham: Why not?
Corona Warden: It's too... provocative.
Barbara Graham: [Incredulous] Provocative? There's nothing but dames here! Not a man within miles!
Barbara Graham: [waving her hand across the bars of her prison cell] And I've got these for a chastity belt!
Barbara Graham: [continues] Oh, boy, would I love to have somebody to provoke!
Corona Warden: It's very foolish to make trouble on your first night, Barbara. I'd advise you to wear the nightgown we provided you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the first images comes the disclaimer: "You are about to see a factual story. It is based on articles I wrote, other newspaper and magazine articles, court records, legal and private correspondence, investigative reports, personal interviews - and the letter of Barbara Graham." Edgar S. Montgomery - Pulitzer Prize winner. San Francisco Examiner. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Amanda Knox (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Powerful drama masterfully directed by Robert Wise...
16 January 2011 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Whether Barbara Graham was really framed for murder or not is never really the point of this melodramatic look at a woman on death row, played to the hilt by SUSAN HAYWARD in one of her gutsiest performances. The main point seems to be showing us what a devastating time any prisoner on death row has while waiting for that execution to proceed. And in this, Robert Wise succeeds with his powerful film about the accused murderess Barbara Graham.

That Hayward can actually make us feel sympathy for her character when she's depicted as a tough-talking, bitter dame who takes no nonsense from anyone (even those trying to help her), is a credit her talent as an actress who never tries to soften her portrayal of the party girl paying for a life of petty crimes that may include murder.

SIMON OAKLAND as a reporter who begins to have doubts about her guilt, is excellent. There's an almost documentary feel to the whole film and this is partly due to the uniform excellence of the entire cast, all of whom come across as real people. But the main credit must be given to director Robert Wise who does a fine job with some truly harsh material.

The jazz score background effectively balances the look and feel of the story. Well worth watching as an inside look at how justice sometimes works, while raising questions in the viewer's mind as to Graham's guilt or innocence.


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