AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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For You I Die
Director: John Reinhardt (Dir)
Release Date:   2 Jan 1948
Production Date:   early-Oct--mid-Oct 1947 at Enterprise Studios
Duration (in mins):   76
Duration (in feet):   6,871
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Cathy Downs (Hope Novak)  
    Paul Langton (Johnny Coulter)  
    Mischa Auer (Alec Shaw)  
    Roman Bohnen (Smitty)  
    Jane Weeks (Georgie)  
    Marion Kerby (Maggie Dillon)  
    Manuela Callejo (Louisa [Shaw])  
    Don Harvey ([Matt] Gruber)  
    Charles Waldron Jr. (Jerry)  
    Rory Mallinson (Mac)  

Summary: With only a year left to serve on his sentence, Johnny Coulter is forced to participate in a jailbreak by convict Matt Gruber, who kills a guard during the escape. Once on the outside, Gruber instructs Johnny to go his own way but to meet him later at the café of a tourist camp where his girl friend, Hope Novak, works as a waitress. Maggie Dillon runs the place with the help of Smitty, an alcoholic cook, who watches over Hope. When Johnny shows up, he mistakes Maggie's man-crazy niece Georgie for Hope. Georgie then tells Hope, her roommate, that Gruber is coming, but Hope denies being his girl friend and does not want to see him. Johnny eventually discovers Hope, and Maggie gives him a job pumping gas. Although Georgie flirts with Johnny, he becomes interested in Hope, who once was arrested and accused of being an accomplice to Gruber. In order to protect her, Johnny offers to take Gruber out of the country when he arrives, but Hope intends to turn Gruber in to the police. Through his friendship with Hope, Maggie and two entertainers, Alec and Louisa Shaw, who are vacationing at the camp, Johnny begins to find peace. However, a newspaper report about Gruber's murder of a policeman, disturbs his idyll. One night, after the lunch room is held up by two gunmen, and Johnny helps the local police officers to recover the money, Maggie discovers that Johnny is on the run but does not turn him in. Gruber shows up and orders Hope to leave with him, but she tries to phone the police as Johnny and Gruber become involved in a brawl. After Gruber accidentally shoots and kills Smitty, Johnny overpowers him, throws him in a car and drives off. When Maggie goes through Smitty's possessions, she discovers that, unknown to Hope, Smitty was Hope's father, but decides to tell her the news later. Having handed Gruber over to the police and turned himself in, Johnny returns to the café with the local police officers to say goodbye. Hope tells him that she will wait for him while he serves the remainder of his sentence. 

Production Company: Arpi Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Film Classics, Inc.  
Director: John Reinhardt (Dir)
  William Forsyth (Asst dir)
  Peter Mayer (Asst to the dir)
Producer: Robert Presnell Sr. (Prod)
  John Reinhardt (Prod)
Writer: Robert Presnell Sr. (Orig scr)
Photography: William Clothier (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: John Reinhardt (Art dir)
Film Editor: Jason Bernie (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Murray Waite (Set dec)
Costumes: William Cogswell (Ward supv)
  Florence Hays (Ward supv)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus dir and score)
Sound: Frank Webster (Sd)
Make Up: Ted Coodley (Makeup)
  Elaine Ramsay (Hairdresser)
Production Misc: Frank Parmenter (Prod mgr)
  M. Pam Blumenthal (Prod aide)
  Roy Black (Electrical supv)
  Mischa Auer (Asst to the producers)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Arpi Productions, Inc. 15/12/1947 dd/mm/yyyy LP1445

PCA NO: 12769

Genre: Drama
Subjects (Major): Auto courts
Subjects (Minor): Alcoholics
  Fathers and daughters
  Gas stations
  Prison escapes
  Russian Americans

Note: Although this film was not viewed, the above summary was derived from a cutting continuity contained in the film's copyright records and from reviews. A Sep 1947 HR news item announced that director John Reinhardt would double as art director for this film. An Oct 1947 HR news item indicated that producer Robert Presnell and Reinhardt wanted to use this film to prove that an 'A' picture could be made on a 'B' budget of $300,000. According to a Nov 1947 HR news item, distributor Film Classics intended to present a special television trailer for For You I Die in twenty cities. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   27 Dec 1947.   
Daily Variety   15 Dec 1947.   
Film Daily   19 Dec 47   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Sep 47   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Oct 47   p. 17, 22
Hollywood Reporter   7 Nov 47   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Dec 47   p. 3.
Independent Film Journal   25 Oct 47   p. 34.
Los Angeles Times   26 Feb 1948.   
Variety   24 Dec 47   p. 13.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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