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I Want to Live! Overview:

I Want to Live! (1958) was a Biographical - Crime Film directed by Robert Wise and produced by Walter Wanger.

Academy Awards 1958 --- Ceremony Number 31 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActressSusan HaywardWon
Best CinematographyLionel LindonNominated
Best DirectorRobert WiseNominated
Best Film EditingWilliam HornbeckNominated
Best WritingNelson Gidding, Don MankiewiczNominated
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BlogHub Articles:

I Want to Live! (1958): The Anomaly of Barbara Graham

By 4 Star Film Fan on Dec 3, 2019 From 4 Star Films

I Want to Live! calls upon the words of two men of repute to make an ethos appeal to the audience. The first quotation is plucked from Albert Camus. I’m not sure what the context actually was but?the excerpt reads, “What good are films if they do not make us face the realities of our tim... Read full article


I Want to Live! (1958) (2)

By Beatrice on Jul 2, 2013 From Flickers in Time

I Want to Live!? Directed by Robert Wise 1945/USA Figaro First viewing Barbara Graham: Compared to what? This noir biofilm won Susan Hayward an Academy Award. Hayward portrays Barbara Graham as a jazz-loving wise-cracking good-time girl. ?The film covers Graham’s life as she starts out a g... Read full article


I Want to Live! (1958) (1)

By Kristen on Jul 29, 2012 From Journeys in Classic Film

I Want to Live! is another film I had earmarked for my TCM Top Twelve in May, nice to know I’m slowly working my way through something two months old. ?Either way, I Want to Live is cited as the quintessential Susan Hayward film and I had high expectations for it, especially considering itR... Read full article


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Quotes from

Police Inspector: We have a tough, ugly job to do and you're making it tougher and uglier for all of us.
Barbara Graham: My heart bleeds for you. How can I help you Inspector, buy a few tickets to the policemen's ball?


Barbara Graham: I never even knew the dame.
Police lieutenant: You know she's been murdered, don't you?
Barbara Graham: Yeah. So was Julius Caesar. I didn't know him either.


San Quentin Capt.: [whispers] When you hear the pellets drop, count to ten. Take a deep breath. It's easier that way.
Barbara Graham: How would you know?


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Facts about

The close-up of fake label on sulfuric acid bottle identifies Gidding Chemical as manufacturer. Nelson Gidding was the screenwriter.
Inveterate researcher that he is, Robert Wise was determined to capture every grisly element of an execution for the climax of his movie. He visited San Quentin prison and asked for permission to see the gas chamber and witness an actual execution. After he'd seen it and had his art director photograph it and take measurements for set replication purposes, he was still uncertain about how he would structure the last act. He went back to the prison and made one final request for a detailed account of the entire execution procedure. This is what is painstakingly documented in the movie's climax.
While the ending credits are filmed outside of the actual San Quentin prison, the gas chamber scene was filmed on a replica set constructed on a soundstage.
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Best Actress Oscar 1958






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Also directed by Robert Wise




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Also produced by Walter Wanger




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Also released in 1958




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