Susan Hayward won an Academy Award® for her performance in the compelling 1958 classic I Want to Live! Hayward plays Barbara Graham, a "good-time girl" with a heart of gold and absolutely no instincts about when to drop a bad association. After bouncing in and out of the prison system for a series of petty crimes, Graham suddenly finds herself framed for murder and facing the death penalty. Hayward is simply marvelous, giving a wrenching, complex performance without ever becoming maudlin. Director Robert Wise ratchets the tension up to a nearly unbearable level, making Barbara's moments of hope as agonizing as those of her despair. The film is based on the story of the real-life Barbara Graham, taken from her letters and interviews with reporter Ed Montgomery. Montgomery himself appears as a character, and the film is surprisingly evenhanded about condemning his own role in Graham's conviction. This is definitely a must-see for Hayward fans. --Ali Davis
Prostitute, party girl, perjurer, bad-check passer, petty criminal. She's all this and more... but is she a murdered? Susan Hayward won 1958's Best Actress Academy Award® for her "sensational, nerve-shattering performance" (Los Angeles Times) in this harrowing, "must-see" (The Motion Picture Guide) tale that will leave you breathless with suspense.
Arrested for fatally beating an elderly widow, Barbara Graham (Hayward) at first goads the police, refusing to answer their questions. But when an alleged accomplice turns state's evidence, Graham insists that she's innocent. Condemned by the press and the public, Graham is found guilty of murder and sentenced to die in the gas chamber. But as her execution date nears, Graham desperately attempts to expose the truth and save her life against all odds. Fact from the Vault: In addition to winning the Oscar® for Best Actress, I Want to Live! received Academy Award® nominations for Best Director, Screenplay Adaptation, Cinematography (B&W), Sound, and Editing.
I feel that many cold-blooded criminals that're in jail probably deserve the death penalty, but when we can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they actually did the crime, then... Read morePublished on March 11 2004 by Dave
Maybe I'm a bit partial, being an avid Susan Hayward fan, but "I Want to Live!" must rank as the perfect example of how to meld great story and super talent. Read morePublished on April 28 2003 by W. Pender
A memorable film from the 50's based allegedly on the true story of a woman named Barbara Graham who went to the gas chamber for a murder she swore she didn't commit. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2002 by Mark Norvell
I can't believe I'm the only one to give this a negative review. There was only one reason this movie was made and that was to give the oscar to Susan. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2002 by Beth
This powerful crime drama is based on the actual case of Barbara Graham, who was executed in the gas chamber for murder amid debate about the severity of her punishment. Read morePublished on July 7 2002 by Michael Mathena
I WANT TO LIVE is a stunning film starring the amazing Susan Hayward in her Oscar-winning triumph. Director Robert Wise (THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE SAND PEBBLES, STAR! Read morePublished on July 7 2002 by Byron Kolln
This is one of the best of the 50s "issue" dramas, and it contains Susan Hayward's finest performance. Read morePublished on May 30 2002
Well, I knew that this was about a gal on Death Row, but I kept thinking she'd get her pardon from the Governor--no dice! Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2002 by Linda McDonnell