Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir

Episode 43: They Live By Night

Jan. 4, 2008

THEY LIVE BY NIGHT is film noir at its best. Edward Anderson's little-known hard-boiled rural bandit novel is made into a screenplay as lean as the post-war dreams of its players. The shifty camera frames every sucker that comes its way, making them false promises then plunging each into a darkness more than night. Rookie director Nicholas Ray mercilessly rolls rising stars Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell in the existential muck, but manages nonetheless to show us the ethereal gold that lines their hearts and dreams. Beyond the sublime writing, acting, and directing, what truly sets the film apart is its ruthless humanity, its unwavering determination to show the full spectrum of good and bad in everyone—the shades of gray that haunt the war-battered world of black and white. It is as poignant now as it was upon its release sixty years ago.  This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards, of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.

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