Watch They Live By Night
- 1 hr 35 min
They Live By Night is a beautiful film noir that tells the story of Bowie (played by Farley Granger), a young man who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has recently escaped from prison and is on the run from the law, but he's also a romantic at heart. When he meets and falls in love with Keechie (played by Cathy O'Donnell), the daughter of a gas station owner, he sees a chance to start a new life.
Their love story is tender and touching, and the chemistry between Granger and O'Donnell is palpable. They share a quiet intimacy that is rare in cinema, and the camera lingers on their faces as they gaze at each other with a mix of fear and longing.
Howard Da Silva gives an equally compelling performance as Chicamaw "One-Eye" Mobley, a hardened criminal who takes Bowie under his wing. Da Silva brings a complexity to the role, imbuing Chicamaw with both menace and a twisted sense of loyalty.
The film is gorgeously shot, with director Nicholas Ray making excellent use of shadows and light to create a sense of both danger and intimacy. The scenes set at night are particularly stunning, with the neon lights of roadside motels and the stars in the sky providing a beautiful backdrop for the action.
The movie is also notable for its portrayal of young lovers on the run, a theme that would become a staple of many films to come, from Bonnie and Clyde to Natural Born Killers. The film captures the sense of freedom and danger that comes with youth, and the excitement of taking risks and making bold choices.
While They Live By Night is often classified as a film noir, it is a more understated and poignant example of the genre. There are moments of violence and tension, but the focus is on the characters and their relationships, rather than on the thrills and chills of the plot. At its heart, it is a love story about two people who are trying to escape their past and build a new life together.
Overall, They Live By Night is a beautiful and haunting film that deserves to be seen by a wider audience. Granger and O'Donnell are both excellent, and Ray's direction is masterful. The film captures a sense of yearning and nostalgia for a time and place that never really existed, while also exploring universal themes of love, loyalty, and the search for redemption. It remains a timeless classic that will resonate with audiences for years to come.