They Live by Night

1948

Crime / Film-Noir / Romance

8
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 6776

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 08, 2020 at 03:20 AM

Director

Cast

Cathy O'Donnell as Keechie
Farley Granger as Bowie
Ian Wolfe as Hawkins
Jay C. Flippen as T-Dub
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
835.03 MB
1280*986
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 0 / 4
1.64 GB
1392*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 8 / 10

THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (Nicholas Ray, 1948) ***1/2

This is undoubtedly one of the finest directorial debuts in American cinema, with its ground-breaking use of helicopter shots to depict the escaping convicts instantly alerting one to a film-maker to watch – even if, as it turned out, some of his next assignments were not as rewarding.

Most of the cast members have arguably career-best roles here: O'Donnell – who died of cancer at age 46 and got married to William Wyler's producer brother Robert some months before this film's release – is a beguiling presence as the vulnerable, slightly tomboyish garage attendant who has never had a boyfriend and doesn't know how to kiss but, after a false start, she instinctively hitches up with doomed runaway convict Granger. The latter, then, had a great run of pictures during the early stages of his career – including leading roles for Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Mann and Luchino Visconti – but his career petered out after the mid-50s; still, his brooding, sensitive portrayal of a rebellious youngster here would soon prove very influential, particularly on the likes of James Dean (who, of course, would essay his most iconic role in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE [1955] for Nicholas Ray himself).

However, the supporting players are equally impressive: Howard Da Silva as the boozing, trigger-happy and one-eyed leader of the gang; Jay C. Flippen as the more level-headed of the two hardened bandits who make up the rest of Bowie's gang, a characterization far removed from the happy-go-lucky sidekick he often played in John Wayne movies; Helen Craig as Flippen's two-timing sister-in-law who is more concerned with springing her own hubby out of jail, even if it means betraying Bowie to the authorities; Will Wright as O'Donnell's alcoholic weakling of a father; and, especially, reptilian Ian Wolfe as a 24-hour service Justice of the Peace – who has all the right "connections" for the perfect wedding ceremony and honeymoon, so long as the customers are able to pay for the comforts provided.

While there is perhaps an excess of romanticism and verbosity in the script itself (the expected action is largely downplayed and the unsuccessful second robbery is not even shown), the tender portrayal of the two lovers on the run is what gives this film its heart and sets it apart from other noirs of the era – compare, for example, Joseph H. Lewis' slightly superior GUN CRAZY (1950) for a different (i.e. more nihilistic) approach to similar material. In this context, therefore, I found the use of hard-boiled dialogue in THEY LIVE BY NIGHT a bit surprising. Incidentally, the film was remade by none other than Robert Altman in 1974 as THIEVES LIKE US, the name of Edward Anderson's original novel; the latter is a pretty good effort in its own right, but hardly one of the director's major works – and, in retrospect, a lesser achievement than Ray's version.

Reviewed by lauloi 9 / 10

Beautiful!!!!

Nicholas Ray is mostly known for his work, "Rebel WIthout a Cause", but his first work, a dazzling, moving (if sentimental) film noir, is far better. Unjustly out-of-print, "They Live By Night" may have its minor flaws, but the stark, beautiful camerawork, stolid dialogue and (perhaps above all) exquisite performances make up for it. It has none of the often phony emotions and annoying characters that are found in "Rebel Without a Cause."

Bowie, the innocent, sympathetic outlaw hero of "They Live By Night" is a wonderfully drawn. By no means is he the cliched nice-guy-in-a-bad-situation; though essentially good-hearted, he can be frighteningly callous at times. Farley Granger, working with excellent direction, he gives us glimpses of a violent yet passionate nature, struggling against the condemnation of society. Cathy O'Donnell is also entrancingly tender, yet we can vaguely see that her character is trapped in a hopeless relationship with Bowie. She is also sadly obscure, which plainly has nothing to do with her talent.

The one significant fault of this film is over-restraint. At times, Ray's understated direction can be extremely effective, such as when he is dealing with violence. But at other times the characters' (and especially Keechie's) emotions are so tightly controlled that some of the impact on the audience is lost. Still, despite a few faults, "They Live By Night" is a wonderful film, and if ever you can find it, sell your hair but GET IT!!!

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10

Noir Tales Of 'Keechie,' 'T-Dub, "Chickamaw' And Other Common Names

This was the first pairing of Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell and it was successful enough so that the two worked together two years later in "Side Street. I heard that this movie was sort of a early "Bonnie and Clyde," and it was, but only to a degree.

Granger and O'Donnell didn't really dominate the screen until after 40 minutes but after that, it was mostly them. Frankly, I enjoyed the first 40 minutes best when Howard da Silva and J.C. Flippen shared the screen time. They were great film noir characters in this movie (and they did come back in the second half, livening up the film again.) I liked their names in here: da Silva was "Chicamaw." and Flippen was "T-Dub." In most of the second half of this movie, it went from a noir to a romance. but that's not surprising knowing the director was Nicholas Ray.

This is the best I've ever seen O'Donnell, who never impressed me much but she's impressive here with a fine performance and a nice '40s look to her. She had a strange character name, too: "Keechie." Granger ("Arthur Bowers") does a nice job, too. For an uneducated thug, he sure comes across as a really nice guy. It's kinda of weird. He reminded me of John Dall in "Gun Crazy" (1950). Some of the camera-work also reminded me of "Gun Crazy."

However, one major detail should be noted: unlike "Gun Crazy" and "Bonnie & Clyde," the two lovers in this movie did NOT rob banks together. O'Donnell's character never gets involved in any crime, so comparing this film to those doesn't really fit. Most of "Keechie's" time is spent living in a remote cabin lodge, and suggesting periodically to her husband that he go straight - a far cry from the women Peggy Cummins and Faye Dunaway played.

Like a lot of good film noirs, this also has some very good supporting actors who play weird people, and say weird things. Some of the dialogue in this movie is fascinating because it's so odd. One example is the guy who marries the couple for $20. Another is Keechie's father.

This is a odd little "B" noir/melodrama and definitely one that film noir fans should check out. Romantics will like it, too. I'm glad it is now available on disc, as part of the Film Noir Classics Collection Volume 4.

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