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They Live By Night

They Live By Night
Film Format: 
Ray, Nicholas
United States
Farley Granger
Cathy O' Donnell
Film Reviews: 

‘Even within a vision as fundamentally bleak and futile as Ray's, a clear view of paradise is never entirely out of mind or even definitively out of reach. This is the utopian promise of the '30s and the '60s that his work keeps alive, and it remains a precious legacy.’ [Johnathan Rosenbaum- Sense of Cinema]

Ray’s stunning, richly empathetic adaptation of  Edward Anderson’s depression era novel ‘Thieves like Us’ is still the most iconic and affecting treatment of the criminal lovers-on-the-run theme that the cinema has ever produced. The lineaments  of  the relationship between violence and tenderness have never  been more eloquently expressed and the details are glorious; the dismal coffee in bus stop diners, the grasping but ultimately merciful hawker of the $20 wedding , the treacherous female collaborator striated by guilt, the one-eyed, boozy gang leader Chickamaw-imploding with jealousy performed with sidewalk swagger by Howard da Silva.Richly gloomy interiors and frazzled, neon-glare exteriors, a beautifully layered soundtrack, convincing portraits of slash-and-burn youth all contribute to this being one of the key films of this period- lighting the way for the urgent youth oriented films of the 60s.

Date Arrival: 
4 January 2010