They Live by Night They Live by Night

They Live by Night

Nicholas Ray

 
They Live by Night (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • United States
  • 1948
  • 95 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #880

Legendary director Nicholas Ray began his career with this lyrical film noir, the first in a series of existential genre films overflowing with sympathy for America’s outcasts and underdogs. When the wide-eyed fugitive Bowie (Farley Granger), having broken out of prison with some bank robbers, meets the innocent Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell), each recognizes something in the other that no one else ever has. The young lovers envision a new, decent life together, but as they flee the cops and contend with Bowie’s fellow outlaws, who aren’t about to let him go straight, they realize there’s nowhere left to run. Ray brought an outsider’s sensibility honed in the theater to this debut, using revolutionary camera techniques and naturalistic performances to craft a profoundly romantic crime drama that paved the way for decades of lovers-on-the-run thrillers to come.

Credits

DirectorNicholas Ray
Produced byJohn Houseman
Screenplay byCharles Schnee
Adaptation byNicholas Ray
From the novel Thieves Like Us byEdward Anderson
Director of photographyGeorge E. Diskant
Film editorSherman Todd

Disc Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film historian Eddie Muller and actor Farley Granger
  • New video interview with film critic Imogen Sara Smith
  • Short piece from 2007 with film critic Molly Haskell, filmmakers Christopher Coppola and Oliver Stone, and film noir specialists Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • Illustrated audio interview excerpts from 1956 with producer John Houseman
  • PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Bernard Eisenschitz

    New cover by Mark Chiarello

Film Essays

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They Live by Night: Dream Journey

By Bernard Eisenschitz June 13, 2017

Informed by his work in theater and his travels through rural America, Nicholas Ray brought an outsider’s perspective to genre filmmaking in his debut feature.
Read more »

Video

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On the Channel: A Birthday Tribute to Nicholas Ray

August 07, 2017

On the anniversary of his birth, we’re celebrating Hollywood renegade Nicholas Ray with complete editions of three of his masterpieces on the Criterion Channel. Read more »


Video

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Nicholas Ray and the Myth of the Open Road

June 19, 2017

In his film debut, legendary director Nicholas Ray captured the mythic dimensions of the American open road through the story of an outlaw couple. Read more »


Film Essays

Current_28717id_190_thumbnail

They Live by Night: Dream Journey

By Bernard Eisenschitz June 13, 2017

Informed by his work in theater and his travels through rural America, Nicholas Ray brought an outsider’s perspective to genre filmmaking in his debut feature.
Read more »

Other Editions

They Live by Night (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96

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