You Only Live Once

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,124

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Movie Info

Joan Graham (Sylvia Sidney) works as the secretary to the public defender. Unfortunately, she's fallen madly in love with a criminal by the name of Eddie Taylor (Henry Fonda). Convinced that Eddie is a good man with bad luck, she pulls some strings and gets Eddie released from prison early. The two get married, but while Eddie tries to fly right, he soon discovers he can't change his nature. His past comes knocking at their door, and the couple is forced to go into hiding.

Cast & Crew

Sylvia Sidney
Joan Graham
Henry Fonda
Eddie Taylor
Barton MacLane
Stephen Whitney
William Gargan
Father Dolan
Jean Dixon
Bonnie Graham
Jerome Cowan
Doctor Hill
Ward Bond
Casey, guard
Gene Towne
Writer (Screenplay)
C. Graham Baker
Writer (Screenplay)
Walter Wanger
Executive Producer
Leon Shamroy
Cinematographer
Helen Taylor
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for You Only Live Once

All Critics (8) | Fresh (8)

Audience Reviews for You Only Live Once

  • Aug 16, 2020
    After leaving Germany, the first two films Fritz Lang made in Hollywood are his best American movies: Fury and You Only Live Once. This feature works on all levels and there's good reason. The artist was extended control over the entire film including final cut. That's something most directors at the time were never given. Lang's favorite themes of fate and destiny, and a cynicism about society are on sharp display here.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2010
    This film features a similar storyline to the Pre-Code Hollywood classic "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang," without the drama of it being a true story. This film also adds a fresh faced romantic interest, who powers much of the story and serves as the protagonist's main motivation. The narrative follows the story of former convict Eddie Taylor (Ford) who is finally going straight, as he marries his sweetheart Joan (Sidney) and tries to get a job. Though he tries to do good he's framed for theft and murder, and the rest of the film features him trying to clear his name and get back to his wife. The main moral of the story is not to discount those who are trying to get their lives back together, and the more important lesson is that when you believe someone will commit a crime, eventually they will have to, to be free. This is a narrative that could use more attention in our modern times, when recidivism is at an all-time high, and police brutality is in the national spotlight. While the film overall plies itself with melodrama all too often, it's a classic example of the way Fritz Lang made his films, utilizing the emotions of his audience while also showing a story steeped in violence. This isn't his absolute best film, but it is one of the more memorable, and one that I would recommend wholeheartedly.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2010
    This movie reminded me of better movies from the 40s. It's an alright story and all, but I couldn't get into it, the dialogue was less than average, and so was the acting. Overall, not a great movie, but not horrible, it does have a realistic story.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2009
    Sad tale of a luckless man and the woman who stands by him no matter what. Of course the acting is very fine and the direction good but the hopelessness of the film makes it more something to appreciate then actually enjoy.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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