I Want to Live! / Not Wanted
Sun 8/6/2023 • 7PM PDT
Billy Wilder Theater
Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.
I Want to Live!
Susan Hayward won an Oscar for her gripping performance as Barbara Graham, a petty criminal, sex worker and mother who’s convicted of murder and sentenced to capital punishment at San Quentin. Adapted from letters written by the real-life Graham and a series of articles by San Francisco Examiner reporter Edward Montgomery (played by Simon Oakland), I Want to Live! follows Graham in and out of seedy nightclubs and motels, courtrooms and jail cells until she lands on Death Row. Director Robert Wise matches her trajectory from the underworld to institution with noir shadows that give way to a documentary realism as the film shifts from exploitation exposé to an overt appeal for mercy.
35mm, b&w, 120 min. Director: Robert Wise. Screenwriter: Nelson Gidding, Don M. Mankiewicz. With: Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent.
A young working girl, Sally (Sally Forrest), hangs out with “drugstore idiots” until a night with a dive bar piano player changes her life forever. Following him out of town, only to be rejected, she learns she’s pregnant. Co-writer and co-producer Ida Lupino took over direction of Not Wanted after Elmer Clifton suffered a heart attack a few days after shooting began. Lupino refused screen credit but the film is all hers. Neorealist in style and intent — with striking moments of Expressionist punctuation — Lupino presents a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of an unwed mother, one of the “one hundred thousand” similar stories that happen each year, we’re informed.
DCP, b&w, 91 min. Director: Elmer Clifton, Ida Lupino. Screenwriter: Peter Achilles, Ida Lupino. With: Sally Forrest, Keefe Brasselle, Leo Penn.
Courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.