Joan is the secretary to the public defender in a large city. She is in love with a career criminal named Eddie, and she believes that he is a basically good person who just had some tough breaks. She uses her influence to get him released early, and he tries to go straight after marrying her, but things don’t work out, and they both go on the lam.
Tim Horrigan <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Joan Graham (Sylvia Sidney) is the efficient secretary of a public defender Stephen Whitney (Barton MacLane) and is in love of the smalltime criminal Eddie Taylor (Henry Fonda). Her boss and friend Stephen helps Eddie to leave the prison on probation, Eddie promises to have a straight life and immediately get married with Joan. He finds a job as truck driver, but is unfairly fired on his first day. While trying to find another job, there is a heist in a bank with six victims and Eddie is accused. Joan convinces him to go to the court and prove his innocence, but based on circumstantial evidence and prejudice of the jury, Eddie is sentenced to the electric chair. On the night of his execution, the FBI finds the real criminal and Eddie grants an indulgence. However, Eddie is trying to escape from prison in a hostage situation, and kills his friend Father Dolan (William Gargan), who was trying to help him. Eddie meets Joan and together they try to reach the border and escape from justice.
"You Only Live Once" is the second American movie of Fritz Lang and a tragic melodrama. The depressive story of love and prejudice discloses a tough criticism to a very unfair, corrupt and hostile society, where losers do not have the chance to recover their dignity and common people are corrupt. The screenplay is visibly influenced by Bonnie and Clyde, who died on 23 May 1934, ambushed in their getaway car – therefore less than three years before the release date of this film. Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney show a great chemistry in good performances in this minor movie of this great director. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Vive-se Uma Só Vez" ("You Only Live Once")