Blu-ray, DVD Release: They Live by Night

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 13, 2017
Price: DVD $21.19, Blu-ray $22.85
Studio: Criterion

Legendary director Nicholas Ray (Johnny Guitar, Bigger Than Life) began his career with the classic 1948 crime-filled film noir They Live By Night, 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, Senso), having broken out of prison with some bank robbers, meets the innocent Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell, Ben-Hur), 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.

Criterion’s new editions of the film include the following:

* 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
* A new essay by film scholar Bernard Eisenschitz

Buy or Rent They Live by Night

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.