- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 26 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: June 17, 2003
- Originally Released: 1937
- Label: Image Entertainment
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Total Film - 03/01/2000
"...The poignant performances of Fonda and Sidney, the Expressionistic visuals; and some superb set-pieces all make for engrossing viewing..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2012
"Famous for its rich visuals, and its even richer ambivalences..."
Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney play ill-fated lovers in Fritz Lang's fatalistic psychological thriller, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. The film opens as Joan (Sidney), a secretary in the public defender's office, excitedly awaits the release of her thrice-convicted criminal lover Eddie (Fonda). The two try to build a life together, despite skepticism of Joan's sister and boss, and succeed for a while until destiny seems to take control. Eddie butts up against a society that refuses to give ex-cons a second chance and tumbles back into contact with old gang connections. When he winds up back in jail--this time with a death sentence--he once again escapes only to commit a murder in the process and take Joan and their new baby with him as he wildly flees. The images are stark, as Lang darkly portrays the doomed couple's headlong descent through a cold society and the inescapable forces of fate. The suspense runs high and the cinematography is sweeping as the camera follows the couple from their ramshackle honeymoon to their desperate getaway and ultimately to their tragically climactic demise. Fritz Lang's obsession with fate and the moral dualism of society and its criminal underground as depicted in his earlier films, DESTINY, M, and FURY, is precisely expressed anew in this brutal and uncompromising film that paved the way for BONNIE AND CLYDE and NATURAL BORN KILLERS.
Description by Image Entertainment:
Convicted felon Eddie Taylor (Academy Award-winner Henry Fonda) decides to lead the straight life with his devoted girlfriend, Joan (Sylvia Sidney), who arranges for his early parole. She agrees to marry him, but a bank robbert gone bad points accusing fingers at the innocent Eddie. Taking Joan on the lam, Eddie is caught in a cat and mouse chase with the law closing in just a few steps behind them! This haunting and beautifully stylish gem from master director Fritz Lang (Metropolis, M) was the first of his remarkable film noir classics including The Big Heat and Clash by Night. Hard-hitting and unforgettable, this exciting tale of crime and revenge inspired countless "criminal lovers on the run" classics like Bonnie and Clyde and The Getaway but remains the final word in searing, tragic and romantic suspense!
Fritz Lang's stark images supply the foreboding atmosphere for this charged crime tale. Eddie Taylor has already had three convictions and is now finally trying to go straight. But the world of crime continues to exert its strong pull on him. He bounces around like a pinball: he has a child with his beloved, Joan Graham, in a deserted shanty; he is sent to prison for having caused the death of a group of armored truck guards; he escapes the hoosegow; and he shoots a prison chaplain. These reverberations induce Eddie's last, ill-destined scrape with the law--except this time he has Joan in tow...
- Theatrical release: January 29, 1937.
- YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE was filmed in Hollywood, California in 1936.