J’ai le Droit de Vivre [You Only Live Once]
[No. 29 in Exhibition]
THIS EARLY VERSION OF THE BONNIE AND CLYDE story is perhaps the finest of Fritz Lang’s American movies, and certainly one of the finest American melodramas of the 1930s. This film is the most magnificent account of malign destiny snuffing out true love and a man’s chance. Here an average Depression-era couple is made into criminals through circumstances and just plain bad luck. The young outcasts are seen as innocent victims of the indifference and cruelty of society––a view that the audience of the period readily shared. Henry Fonda gives a terrific performance as the social outcast fighting for his very existence; and it was once stated that Sylvia Sidney had the face of the Great Depression. This film is probably the reason.