"I've always wanted to hold hands with a girl in a movie."
They Live by Night (1949) is a film noir, based on Edward Anderson's Depression era novel Thieves Like Us. The film was directed by Nicholas Ray (his first feature film) and starred Farley Granger as "Bowie" Bowers and Cathy O'Donnell as "Keechie" Mobley. The movie is the prototype for the "couple on the run" genre, and is generally seen as the forerunner to the movie Bonnie and Clyde. Robert Altman directed a version of the novel titled Thieves Like Us in 1974.
Bowie (Granger) escapes from prison with bank robbers Chicamaw (DaSilva) and T-Dub (Flippen). Bowie was unfairly convicted of murder. The three plan to rob a bank. Bowie needs the money to hire a lawyer to prove he's innocent.
Bowie, injured in an auto accident, finds refuge with the daughter of the owner of a gas station, Keechie (O'Donnell). They marry and plan to live an honest life. But then Chicamaw and T-Dub return and demand that Bowie come with them for one more job.
Bowie refuses but finds that he is unable to escape...