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Fritz Lang is a director with an immensely big reputation, which has everything to do with his movies "Metropolis" and "M" but in all truth and honesty, most of his other movies were were merely average ones. This one included. It's a good movie but nothing about this movie makes it a special one or a must-see really.

It has a decent enough story but definitely not a solid or credible one. The movie is being a bit melodramatic and forced with all of its events and emotions but then again, this really wasn't that uncommon for an 1930's movie. I liked some of the places the movie was taken its story but then the movie would do something stupid and silly again, which took me out of the movie and prevented me from connecting to its characters and everything that is going on with them.

The movie ultimately tries to present itself as a love story, with only one big crime and dramatic twist to it. The combination of all these elements does work out well enough and also original. It still makes "You Only Live Once" definitely a good watch and for its time it also really isn't a bad attempt. The story works sort of renewing and original and also the twists and turns in it make this far from the typical genre attempt, from about that same time period this movie got made in.

It takes some good approach with its directing and cinematography, which at times make you forget you are watching an '30's movie here. The movie can feel quite modern and raw at times, also because it's not a movie that is constantly busy with trying to wrap things up needly and create an happy ending for all of its main characters.

The movie features a young Henry Fonda, with still lots of hair. It's one of his earliest movie roles and funny thing about him is that he never really played secondary characters but always had been the main lead, ever since the start of his acting career. And why not. He definitely had the right required skills and also looks for it and he also was quite good in this movie. Even though the story gets melodramatic at times, the actors still aren't overacting and keep things as real as possible. It's the reason why "You Only Live Once" still works out good and effectively, for most part.

A good movie to watch but at the same time also one you could easily do without ever seeing.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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