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I Want to Live! Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Grim, almost unbearably intense, is the story of the life and execution of Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward) a perjurer, prostitute, liar and drug addict. The product of a broken home, Graham works as a shill, luring gullible men into crooked card games. She attempts to go straight, marries the wrong man, and has a baby. When her life falls apart, she returns to her former profession and is involved in a murder. Despite her claims of innocence, she is convicted and executed. Robert Wise directs the uniformly fine cast with grim efficiency, telling Graham's story in a series of adroitly crafted scenes that won him a well-deserved Academy Award nomination. However, the film belongs to Susan Hayward who gives a intense, shattering performance without one false note. Her performance is so grimly focused that she is, at times, almost unbearable to watch. The final scenes, which lead up to Graham's execution, are exhausting in their emotional intensity as the audience is spared nothing of Graham's agony, despair and desperation when she finally loses the long battle to save her life. Whether one sees Graham as a murderer or a hapless victim of society, the power and relentless, sordid reality of her story leaves an indelible memory in the mind of the viewer. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi

  • Release date:November 18, 1958

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Susan Hayward Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1958 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Susan Hayward Best Actress 1958 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Susan Hayward Best Actress 1958 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lionel Lindon Best Black and White Cinematography 1958 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Robert Wise Best Director 1958 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Robert Wise Best Director 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Wise Best Director 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nelson Gidding Best Adapted Screenplay 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William W. Hornbeck Best Editing 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gordon Sawyer Best Sound 1958 Nominee

Cast

Susan Hayward
as Barbara Graham
Simon Oakland
as Ed Montgomery
Virginia Vincent
as Peg
Theodore Bikel
as Carl Palmberg
Philip Coolidge
as Emmett Perkins
James Philbrook
as Bruce King
Bartlett Robinson
as District Attorney
Gage Clarke
as Richard Tibrow
Joe de Santis
as Al Matthews
John Marley
as Father Devers
Raymond Bailey
as San Quentin Warden
Alice Backes
as San Quentin Nurse
Gertrude Flynn
as San Quentin Matron
Russell Thorson
as Sergeant
Dabbs Greer
as San Quentin Captain
Stafford Repp
as Sergeant
Gavin MacLeod
as Lieutenant
Red Mitchell
Marion Marshall
as Rita
Dan Sheridan
as Police broadcaster
Olive Blakeney
as Corona warden
Evelyn Scott
as Personal effects clerk
Jack Weston
as NCO
Lorna Thayer
as Corona guard
Gerry Mulligan
Bill Stout
as Newsman
Rusty Lane
as Judge
Peter Breck
as Ben Miranda
Brett Halsey
Shelly Manne
as Musician

Crew

Robert Wise
Director
Walter Wanger
Producer
Nelson Gidding
Screenwriter
Lionel Lindon
Cinematographer
Johnny Mandel
Composer (Music Score)
Johnny Mandel
Musical Direction/Supervision
William W. Hornbeck
Editor
Fred Lau
Sound/Sound Designer
Lynn Stalmaster
Casting
Tom Tuttle
Makeup
Jack Stone
Makeup
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