They Live by Night

Synopsis: In the '40s, three prisoners flee from a state prison farm in Mississippi. Among them is 23-years-young Bowie, who spent the last seven years in prison and now hopes to be able to prove his innocence or retire to a home in the mountains and live in peace together with his new love, Keechie. But his criminal companions persuade him to participate in several heists, and soon the police believe him to be their leader and go after "Bowie the Kid" harder than ever.
Director(s): Nicholas Ray
Production: RKO Radio Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

I knew that tire had to go.

You talk too much.

- Please, mister, please.

- Uh-uh.


- Now what?

- Now to get to that brother of yours.

- Get that dough you got stashed away.

- Let's go, let's go. Come on.

- Let's go, let's go, let's go.

- It's his foot.

- How far we gotta go?

- Ten, 15 miles.

- You two go on.

- Hole up here, back of the sign.

One of us will come back tonight,

blink the headlights.

- At least you got company.

- Take it easy, son.

I'll take it easy.

I got a lawyer in Tulsa to see.

- You having trouble?

- Could be.

Who are you?

You live around here?

Could be.

Haven't had a couple of visitors lately,

have you?

That wouldn't be sore foot

making you limp, would it?

Could be.

I got some other stuff to pick up.

Get in or we'll both get pneumonia.

They took their own sweet time

sending for me.

Who are you?

They sent this for you. Get in.

I'll take that stuff.

You go around the shed

through the trees, a cabin back there.

Look who's here.

- Hello, son.

- You took your time getting here.

What you and that gal been doing,


Say hello to Mobley,

Chickamaw's brother.

I told you she'd find them.

- She's a weasel, that daughter of mine.

- Tired?

Sorry we had to keep you waiting.

It had to be that way.

Here, kid. This will fit better

over that bandage.

You're welcome.

A thousand dollars.

That enough for a used car?

Could be.

You can't tell, though.

The way things are, you could--

Well, that'd be my daughter.

Hello, Miss Keechie.

Here's 500 more.

That's 1500 for the car.

Can't have you coming back

in no rattletrap, not for this trick.

Fifteen hundred bucks

for a second-hand car?

That's right.

Whoever sells them for that?

- That's worse than robbing a bank.

- They're thieves, just like us.

Now, don't forget the clothes.

Tell Mattie the first big dough

goes to get her man out of jail.

- Tell here that or she won't come.

- Oh, I'll tell her for sure.

Well, so long, fellows.

I'll try to get back here with Mattie

before tomorrow night.

Hey, big brother, stay sober.

- Me?

- Yeah, you.

Oh, I won't touch a drop. Not a drop.

Of course, he won't.

We take care of our friends, Mobley.

I know. I know that, T-Dub.

Keechie, you'll take care of the station,

won't you?

So long.

"You'll take care of the station."

He never did a lick of work in his life,

that brother of mine.

Did you catch the look on his face?

He's still trying to figure out

where I had that dough hid.

Can't you make that stove work?

He'd have grabbed it, too,

wouldn't he, Keechie?

You show him how, Miss Keechie.

That's one machine

he don't know nothing about.



That boy's some gallant, ain't he?

And he got a soft heart

and a head to match.

His head looks all right to me.

That little girl don't think

any too much of us.

Her ma was just the same way, always

acting like she was the queen of Romania.

Keechie's mom?

Know what she did? Ran off with a fella

and now they're running a medicine show.

No matter how I turn it, we're short.

We need another thousand dollars.

Hey, we're in it.

"Prison farm break.

The escape of three lifers was announced

today by Warden E. Gaylord

of the state prison farm.

The fugitives, who kidnapped a farmer

on their flight, are El--"

"Elmo 'One-Eye' Mobley."

Always "One-Eye."

They always mention that.

"R.T. Waters, farmer of Akota,

gave a description of the three men

who commandeered his car

at the point of a gun."

I should have blasted his head off

with that shotgun.

- Chickamaw, come here.

- Still, it's all they can talk about.

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Charles Schnee

For the American producer (1920-2009), see Charles Schneer.Charles Schnee (6 August 1916 Bridgeport, Connecticut - 29 November 1963 Beverly Hills, California) gave up law to become a screenwriter in the mid-1940s, crafting scripts for the classic Westerns Red River (1948) and The Furies (1950), the social melodrama They Live By Night (1949), and the cynical Hollywood saga The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), for which he won an Academy Award. He worked primarily as a film producer and production executive during the mid-1950s (credits include Until They Sail), but he eventually turned his attention back to scriptwriting. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "They Live by Night" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Dec. 2021. <>.

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