1. Sam Juliano

    “W.R Burnett adapted his own novel for the screenplay. Burnett wrote stronger stories than this one – three successfully made into great noirs – High Sierra, The Asphalt Jungle, and Odds Against Tomorrow. Burnett’s protagonists typically find a dark redemption in losing. Burnett’s writing while hard-boiled has a lyrical quality that reconciles the doomed trajectory of his anti-heroes, who crash out like a comet across the night sky. In Nobody Lives Forever, Burnett engineers a redemption by proxy.

    Nobody Lives Forever is very much more than the sum of its parts. A great cast, the accomplished direction of Jean Negulesco (The Mask of Dimitrios, Road-House), and the rich photography of veteran DP Arthur Edeson, deliver for the discerning viewer a rich and satisfying complexity.

    The cast is really superb. Garfield’s signature integrity gives Nick a depth that sustains close scrutiny. Geraldine Fitzgerald is iridescent as the widow; a mature woman of calm beauty and deep feeling, who any man would fall for. Tobias does nicely as a comic foil. Brennan imbues the washed-up old man with a real pathos, and Coulouris is his feverish best as the envious distrusting hood who once had ‘class’.”

    Well, this is quite the passionate assessment without the sometimes annoying hyperbole that many, myself included, are guilty of. I have not yet seen this film, but the lack of a DVD release until July 19th is primarily the reason. The news you relate here about that release is cause for celebration as is the release of two other WA noirs that same day. It’s also immediate gratification for those recently promoting the John Garfield petition (Dee Dee included) As you note, Negulesco has done some excellent work, and Arthur Edeson is a great cinematographer. The supporting cast in name alone is an immediate sale, and the three films for which Burnett is primarily known speak for themselves. Great connection there with angst in George Seferis’ poem!!!

    Fantastic review!!!

  2. Dave Hicks

    Wonderful review here Tony of a personal favorite of mine. I think I like it a bit more than you (I ranked it somewhere around #46 on my noir countdown, for example), but it is obvious that you feel it rises above how good it would be with a different cast and without Garfield.

    I have an old dvd-r copy of this one and will be happy to finally upgrade to a proper DVD release.

  3. Rob

    Good comments. Thanks for the review. I, for one (of many), think that Garfield is just fine. Another thing is that (I believe…) it was William P. McGivern that wrote the story (novel) of Odds Against Tomorrow (not W.R. Burnett).

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