I Want to Live!
1958, NR, 120 min. Directed by Robert Wise. Starring Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Theodore Bikel.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Tue., June 18, 2002
Susan Hayward pulls out all the emotional stops (and earned an Academy Award for her efforts) in this dramatic tearjerker based on the life of Barbara Graham ñ a prostitute, card sharp, and perjurer who was convicted of murder for a crime she allegedly didn't commit. Her harrowing experiences in the justice system earn the exclamation point that accompanies the title's plaintive refrain. Director Wise is still stylistically at the top of his game here before he began his journeyman descent into directing blockbusters like West Side Story and The Sound of Music. Also of note is the jazz score by Johnny Mandel and jazz combo members that include the likes of Art Farmer and Gerry Mulligan.