You Only Live Once (1937) - Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Hohum Score



The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

IMDB: 7.4
Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda
Length: 86 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 5 out of 41 found boring (12.19%)

One-line Reviews (20)

For the last reel, Eddie and Joan become the quintessential Desperado Couple before they fall to a predictable end.

Students of film noir can learn much from this dark and compelling work, all delivered in 86 engrossing minutes.

The acting is very intense from both Sidney and Fonda.

and on and on this thing goes loose and boring...

Compelling drama of human destiny .

The shot of Eddie (Henry Fonda) in his cell, with the shadows of the bars reaching out to meet the bored and uninterested guard, stands out.

It's always enjoyable to watch the old Hollywood movies with no blood, and very strange looking kisses....

, the Langian notion that in death we will all one day blissfully escape mankind's stark judgments—and stunning evidence of a heretofore unseen Christian sensibility, Eddie's contented exodus from a damned life gives the priest the last word: death is renewal.

Compelling .

In my little book, it's Lang's most compelling American film, despite the relative obscurity.

Story or no story, what woman would give up her baby and flee with her condemned husband?

Whilst I can see much of the early scenes are to make the later consequences more poignant but seventy years on these can appear ponderous.

One of the most intense and captivating films ever seen.

the other thing worth watching is Fonda.

A good story (not so different from others of the same period) perfectly developed by Lang, restless, intense, beautifully played by the characters, with a memorable end.

and then gets drawn out and boring and corny towards the end.

Worth watching on DVD for a quality restoration.

While his role here is a welcome change from this stereotyped role he usually played, he plays the most boring and wussy defense attorney I have ever seen.

Some of the shots are as stunning as they are surprising and things are not overly explained, it's just that some stretches seem a little flat.

Another thing that makes this film worth watching are the performances by Fonda and Sidney.