Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


NOBODY LIVES FOREVER (1946). Director: Jean Negulesco.

Nick Blake (John Garfield) is fresh out of the army, and discovers his girl, Toni (Faye Emerson) hasn't exactly been idle during his absence. He leaves for Los Angeles with his buddy Al (George Tobias), and is offered a lead role in a new scheme by fellow low-life, Doc (George Coulouris): he is to romance a recently widowed and wealthy woman named Gladys (Geraldine Fitzgerald) with the aim of parting her from her newly-acquired dough, a percentage of which he'll turn over to Doc and his racketeer cronies. But what happens if Nick genuinely falls in love with Gladys? Nobody Lives Forever is a surprisingly dull suspense drama with a shoot 'em out climax that seems to last an hour. Garfield is fine, but his character is unreal and uninteresting, and while Fitzgerald gives a good performance as the very naive and lady-like Gladys, it has no spark or fire, and neither does her character. The whole story is contrived and unbelievable in many respects to start with. George Coulouris (Womaneater; Citizen Kane) is excellent but George Tobias is irritating and adds absolutely nothing to the picture. Emerson [Lady Gangster], Walter Brennan [A Stolen Life] and Robert Shayne [The Neanderthal Man] are all fine in smaller roles. Again Brennan plays a character who is much older than he was at the time of filming.

Verdict: Phony and lifeless. **.

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