Quick-Thoughts: Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night (1948)


They fear crime, yet they live in it; a couple must then escape to the innocent adrenaline of firsthand freedom, independence, and love for as long as they can. It’s a classic Romeo and Juliet ordeal set though right in noir-York territory. Sadly, this gist nor its counterpart of cringy on-the-nose execution ceased to impress me, but at least “They Live by Night” will always thrive on as one of the dopest movie titles I’ve ever heard of. It’s a pretty looking film too, but still a bottom-tier Nicholas Ray effort by a long-shot in whole. Here’s my daily dose of millennial fuel, readers: it’s all a-okay in the end because Edgar Wright would do the story better justice nearly 70 years later with the brighter and less melodramatic release Baby Driver

Verdict: C+

“They Live by Night” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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