They Live By Night: The Criterion Collection
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.