You Only Live Once

Synopsis: Joan is the secretary to the public defender in a large city. She is in love with a career criminal named Eddie, and she believes that he is a basically good person who just had some tough breaks. She uses her influence to get him released early, and he tries to go straight after marrying her, but things don't work out, and they both go on the lam.
Director(s): Fritz Lang
Production: United Artists
Rotten Tomatoes:
86 min

My dear lady, each day,

for the last couple of months...

this policeman is a walking

right past my fruit stand.

Then, he's a turn around...

he's a take the apple and...

And, when I tell him to leave

my apples alone...

he's a telling me

"chase himself".

So, I think to myself

I will have him put in the jail...

for stealing the apple.


this idea is no good, because all

the policemen have a union.

One cop is not going

to arrest another one.

Excuse me.

Public Defender's office.

Yes. Judge Calvin.

Miss Graham?

I'll tell him.

Thank you so much for the flowers,

they're lovely.

Just a minute.

Yes, I know.


Goodbye and thank you again.

Miss, I have come here to have your

boss to sue this cop...

for stealing my apples.

Yes, Mr. Whitney?

Can you spare a moment, Joan?

I beg your pardon,

I'll be right back.

When you've finished,

send it to the DA's office.

I don't believe it.

The Public Defender and

the District Attorney holding hands.

It isn't possible.

We were just discussing

the Foley girl.

Why don't you let her off?

I believe her story.

So Steve's been telling me.

I've decided not to prosecute.

You won't regret it. She was

just a victim of circumstances.

You're a better attorney than either

of us. Steve, I'll make a trade.

My secretary and dinner at Pierre's

for Joan. Is it a deal?

No, I'll stick with Stephen.

You put them in and he gets them out.

Much more interesting.

More interesting, maybe,

but not practical.

Is she still in love

with this fellow Taylor?

Strange, isn't it?

What does she see in him?

How should I know?


Well, so long.

And he is a cheap crook.

My offer stands.

Will you put that in writing?

You know something?

Your claim doesn't belong here

but in the court of small claims.

Small claims?

My dear lady, do you think that three

apples each day for one month is...?

Wait a minute,

I'll show you something.

Is 1095 apples a year.

For 5 years, is 5975 apples.

And 3 apples each day

for 10 years...

is 10,950 apples,

my dear lady.

Pardon me, old man.

I'll leave straight from court

and meet you up there.


I can't begin to tell you

how marvellous you've been.


I'm going to miss you

these two weeks.

The new girl's rather pretty. I hope

I have my job when I get back.

If that's your only worry...

Wait a minute,

are you the Public Offender?

People have called me that.

You better be getting started.

It's a long drive.

See? Everyone is running around like

a head with his chicken cut off.

I am a citizen

and I pay my taxes.

If I don't get satisfaction

from somebody in this building...

is going to be one policeman

less in this united nation.

Nobody's going to...

Good morning.

Thanks, Pat.

I thought I was the only crazy one

in the family.

But you,

you're absolutely wacky.

I love being wacky.

Oh, go ahead.

Ruin your life, throw it away

on a worthless gorilla.

End up at my age with no future.

What do you think people will say?

That I'm crazy, that I'll be sorry

and other things that don't matter.

You'll find out

they do matter.

Come on, Bonnie, be a good sport,

wish us happiness.

I do, darling, but you haven't

a Chinaman's chance.

It's almost 12,

I have to hurry.

What about lunch?

Haven't time. It'd be awful

to keep Eddie waiting.

Awful, you're right,

it's awful.

You won't keep him waiting 10 minutes

and he kept you waiting 3 years.

You're leaving with a better chance

than most prisoners I release.

You have intelligence beyond

that of the average criminal.

Thanks, warden.

Directed on the right path, that

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Gene Towne

Gene Towne (March 27, 1904 – March 17, 1979) was an American screenwriter. He wrote for 47 films between 1921 and 1958. He was born in New York, New York and died in Woodland Hills, California from a heart attack. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "You Only Live Once" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. <>.

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