They Live by Night (The Twisted Road)
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
They Live by Night (The Twisted Road)
"This boy...and this girl...were never properly introduced to the world we live in." With this superimposed opening title, director Nicholas Ray inaugurates his first feature, They Live by Night. Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell play a "Bonnie and Clyde"-type fugitive couple, who in trying to escape their past are hell-bent down the road to Doom. Despite their criminal activities, Bowie (Granger) and Keechie (O'Donnell) are hopelessly na´ve, fabricating their own idyllic dream world as the authorities close in. The entrapment -- both actual and symbolic -- of the… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There's no attempt at sugarcoating a happy ending, and yarn moves towards its inevitable, tragic climax without compromise."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A key film noir of the 40s, this was Nicholas Ray's first film as a director (1949), and the freshness of his expressionist-documentary style is still apparent and gripping."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"One of the greatest debut features in movie history."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Nicholas Ray's (Rebel Without A Cause) debut feature is a gem."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Passionate, lyrical, and imaginative, it's a remarkably assured debut, from the astonishing opening helicopter shot that follows the escaped convicts' car to freedom, to the final, inexorably tragic climax."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"A cinema of anxiety and sensuality, with a streak of instability and a peculiar combination of the folksy and the Cocteau-abstract"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Ray's plaintive artistry lends this weepy noir a melancholic beauty."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
"Beautifully acted, They Live by Night stands today as one of the most poignant and unforgettable noirs ever made."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Although it -- like others -- is misguided in its sympathies for a youthful crook, this crime-and-compassion melodrama has the virtues of vigor and restraint."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Nicholas Ray established himself as a major talent to watch with his feature debut, one of the best noirs of the 1940s as well as a lyrical variation on the theme of lovers on the run, splendidly played by Granger and O'Donnell."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Ray writes and directs with easy assurance, propelling the plot forward to its unbearably doomy, inevitable conclusion."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for They Live by Night (The Twisted Road) on Rotten Tomatoes