I Want to Live! (1958)
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as Barbara Graham
as Ed Montgomery
as Carl G.G. Palmberg
as Henry Graham
as Emmett Perkins
as Jack Santo
as Bruce King
as District Attorney
as Richard Tibrow
as Al Matthews
as Father Devers
as San Quentin Captain
as Ben Miranda
as Corona warden
as Corona guard
as Personal effects clerk
as San Francisco Hood
as San Quentin officer
as Police broadcaster
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Critic Reviews for I Want to Live!
... intelligent, adult, and unflinching, making a powerful case against capital punishment while delivering a riveting drama.
Susan Hayward won the 1958 Oscar for her most famous role, as real-life Barbara Graham who was excuted in a gas chamber, in Robert Wise's gritty noir melodrama, one of Hollywood's first detailed accounts of capital punishment.
Stunning drama that cries out for death penalty reform...with excellent Susan Hayward in lead.
Director Wise is content to let Hayward take the film in her teeth from the moment she appears in the film and not let it go until she collapses in the gas chamber two hours later.
Audience Reviews for I Want to Live!
Robert Wise's venture conveying that the truth can be adjusted. Quite a deceptive story of miscarriage of justice for someone who learns about this factual case from the movie. And Susan Hayward's performance was way too mediocre to be Oscar-worthy. As a work of fiction based on actual events, the movie isn't an absolute rubbish. The last half hour is a drag, though.
What of course makes the idea of this film intriguing is that this is a woman heading for a Death Sentance in a time where that would be dominated by Men. Based on the true story of party girl Barbara Graham this film shows a woman high on the excitement of the wrong side of the law and being charged for a murder she may or may not have committed. The story is rather drawn out and despite our main character being quite Bold and brassy for the era, the film isn?t particularly exciting viewing, from a true crime prespective it is an interesting story and would perhaps warrant a remake in more graphic detail.
Great films distinguish themselves in a number of different ways. Some of them are perfectly cast. Others have tremendous cinematography. Still others may have great scripting, direction or editing. I Want to Live stands out for one reason, Susan Hayward's performance. Hayward shines in this true story about a woman convicted of murder and sentenced to die in California's gas chamber. There are numerous supporting characters in this dramatization but it's Susan Hayward's heart-wrenching portrayal that will haunt you even after the credits roll.
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