Let me live

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German title Let me live
Original title I want to live!
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1958
length 120 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Robert Wise
script Nelson Gidding
Don Mankiewicz
production Walter Wanger
music Johnny Almond
camera Lionel Lindon
cut William Hornbeck

Let me live (Original title: I Want to Live! ) Is an American film from 1958. The film is based on the true story of Barbara Graham , who was executed in the gas chamber in 1955 after a death sentence .


Barbara Graham is charged with the murder of a wealthy widow and does not do well in court. She has a previous conviction for perjury and her husband is a crook with a long criminal career. Her drug addict husband, of all people, is her alibi . She spent the time of the crime with him, but the husband was delirious and can't remember anything. An investigator is aware of the hopeless situation of the woman and makes her the offer to get her a reasonable alibi for money. However, he recorded a false confession from the woman, which was used against her in court. Court reporter Ed Montgomery has meanwhile prepared the public for the trial, so that Barbara Graham encounters biased jurors. Only the court psychologist Carl Palmberg believes in her innocence. But alone he can do nothing against the overwhelming power of the media and the prejudice. Barbara Graham is sentenced to death. Only after the verdict can he convince Ed Montgomery of Barbara Graham's innocence. Montgomery is still trying to dissuade the public and reaches the governor a plea for clemency one, however, which of these declines. The sentence against Barbara Graham will be carried out.


“The film, directed against the death penalty, staged with nuances - with provocative objectivity it shows the execution in the gas chamber - abstains from any comment. Susan Hayward's excellent design of the leading role reinforces the already haunting effect of the drama. "

“The execution, which has been shown in detail, exceeds the permissible limit. With this proviso, this is a current topic for discussion that mature adults over the age of 18 should not avoid. "


The film was nominated for six Oscars , ultimately only Susan Hayward was awarded at the Academy Awards in 1959 in the category Best Actress , who had already received a Golden Globe Award in the corresponding category for her performance .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Let me live. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed April 30, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. Evangelischer Presseverband München, Review No. 273/1959