They Live by Night

1948 film by Nicholas Ray

They Live by Night is a 1948 American film noir about an escaped convict, injured during a robbery, who falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Directed by Nicholas Ray. Written by Charles Schnee and Nicholas Ray, based on the 1937 novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson.
Cops or no cops I'm going through!  (taglines)

Catherine "Keechie" Mobley

  • [reading Bowie's letter to herself, as she walks back to her cabin] "Hello girl. I'm gonna miss you, but I got to do it this way. I'll send for both of you when I can. No matter how long it takes, I got to see that kid. He's lucky. He'll have you to keep him squared around. I love you, Bowie." [turns to look at Bowie's lifeless body on the ground, whispers] I love you.


  • Hawkins: [Bowie has just asked Hawkins to arrange a passage to Mexico for Keechie and himself] Son, I'd sure like that money. I'm old, and money's a real comfort to an old man. And maybe I did help you before, but not now. I believe in helping people get what they want, as long as they can pay for it. I've married people 'cause there's a little hope that they'll be happy. But I can't take this money of yours. No, sir. In a way, I'm a thief just the same as you are, but I won't sell you hope when there ain't any.


Bowie: You having trouble?
Keechie: Could be.
Bowie: Who are you? You live around here?
Keechie: Could be.
Bowie: You haven't had a couple of visitors lately, have you?
Keechie: That wouldn't be a sore foot making you limp, would it?
Bowie: Could be.

Bowie: You said you weren't here when the pipes bust. Where were you?
[Keechie gives no response]
Bowie: I asked you where you were!
Keechie: Seein' a doctor.
Bowie: About what?
Keechie: The baby we're gonna have.
Bowie: [angry] Well, that's just fine. That's all I need!
Keechie: You don't see me knittin' anything, do you?

Bowie: Fifteen hundred bucks for a secondhand car?
T-Dub: That's right.
Bowie: Whoever sells them for that, that's worse than robbin' a bank!
T-Dub: They're thieves, just like us.

Bowie: She got a real house.
Chickamaw: Why not? We're real people.

Bowie: Well, don't you have a place a little away from the others?
Lambert: [looking at the couple and smiling] Uh-huh, just married, ain't ya?
Bowie: Yeah.
Lambert: Learn that, Alvin. Just-married people like to be alone.
Alvin: I should think so.

Bowie: [waking up mother on bus] Ma'am, you're baby's crying.
Mother on Bus: Well, I've been on this bus three days. When we get to the next stop, I'll fix her bottle. [ignoring the baby and going back to sleep] Till then, I just don't care.


  • Cops or no cops I'm going through!
  • "We're in a Jam!"
  • Desperate... Hunted... Yet so in love! This is their story... The one the screaming headlines never told!
  • The headlines screamed their crime... but they told only half the story. Would YOU give these kids another chance?
  • "WE'RE IN A JAM! You're crazy to stick to me... but I'd rather die than let you go!"


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