One Hour to Live (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 10 November 1939 (USA)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Bickford ... Insp. Sid Brady
Doris Nolan ... Muriel Vance
John Litel ... Rudolph Spain
Samuel S. Hinds ... Commissioner Cromwell
Paul Guilfoyle ... Stanley Jones
Robert Emmett Keane ... Max Stanton
John Gallaudet ... Jimmy March
Emory Parnell ... Fats Monoham
Jack Carr Jack Carr ... Rikki Renoir / Tiger Renoir
Olin Howland ... Clerk (as Olin Howlin)
Theresa Harris ... High Yaller girl
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Alexander Ernie Alexander ... Intern
Eddy Chandler Eddy Chandler ... Petrie
Ralph Dunn ... Heavy
Mary Foy ... Jail Matron


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Release Date:

10 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Uma Hora de Vida See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Short fast-paced and satisfying crime drama
11 December 2011 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Nobody has "one hour to live" in this film, and it was likely named as such to bring in audiences. Instead it is a one-hour fast-paced crime drama film about crusading cop Sid Brady (Charles Bickford) and his battle to bring gangster Rudolph Spain (John Litel) to justice. To make matters worse, Rudy has just married Sid's girl (Doris Nolan as Muriel). In fact, Sid's latest arrest of Rudy comes at the end of their wedding ceremony and the beginning of the film. The problem is, Rudy is not at the end of the line in this criminal pyramid scheme. There is someone higher - a "Mr. Big" - that seems to be pulling the strings and keeping Rudy one step ahead of the law. Catching this so-far anonymous Mr. Big is Brady's real goal.

Bickford always gave a hard-hitting performance and Litel was good as both bad and good guys, always playing it smooth and sophisticated, which serves him well in this role as the killer who always knows what fork to use. The welcome surprise in this one is Jack Carr in a dual role as twins - a fighter who works for Rudy and his brother who is his butler.

All in all this one is quite satisfying for fans of old B crime dramas. The one thing that is left open is why exactly Sid's girlfriend thinks that marrying a suspected - and likely - killer is a good move just because she wants to get back at Sid. If Sid is right and she burns the toast once she winds up in a cement overcoat. If Sid is wrong she is tied for life to a rather dull guy she doesn't love. How does all of this play out? Watch and find out. I think you'll enjoy it.

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