You Only Live Once

You Only Live Once Information

You Only Live Once is a 1937 crime drama film starring Sylvia Sidney and Henry Fonda. Considered an early film noir, the film was the second directed by Fritz Lang in America. At least 15 minutes were trimmed from the original 100-minute version of the film due to its then unprecedented violence. Despite the absence of such scenes, the film was initially successful and is an early film noir classic.


Eddie Taylor (Henry Fonda) is an ex-convict who cannot get a break after being released from prison. He marries but is then wrongly convicted for a bank robbery in which six people are killed. He is sentenced to death by electrocution. On the eve of his execution a gun smuggled into the execution area enables him to escape. During the escape he unintentionally kills the prison chaplain. The chaplain was trying to convince Eddie that he has had a last minute pardon. This is because the body of the guilty bank robber and the getaway vehicle with the stolen money have just been recovered from a lake.


  • Sylvia Sidney as Joan "Jo" Graham
  • Henry Fonda as Eddie Taylor
  • Barton MacLane as Stephen Whitney
  • Jean Dixon as Bonnie Graham
  • William Gargan as Father Dolan
  • Warren Hymer as Muggsy
  • Charles Sale as Ethan
  • Margaret Hamilton as Hester
  • Guinn "Big Boy" Williams as Rogers
  • Jerome Cowan as Dr. Hill


The film recorded a loss of $48,045.

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