Pretty much every movie thief or con man seems to have the same rule: “Never fall in love.” Maybe, though, they just haven’t seen Jean Negulesco’s 1946 Nobody Lives Forever. Sure, you might have to shoot some guys but, at the end, you get the girl AND the money!
John Garfield plays Nick, a con man and military veteran looking to retire. But his old pal Pop (Water Brennan) ropes him into one last score. All he has to do is seduce a dame, a rich widow named Gladys (the astoundingly named Geraldine Fitzgerald). As much a romance as a film noir, Nobody Lives Forever spends most of its time observing Nick and Gladys fall in love while Nick tries figure out how to shake his cohorts who are just waiting for him to fleece her.
Despite the fact that so many of the classic noir movies take place in California, very few of them showcase the state’s sunny, oceanside trappings. That’s not surprising, really. I mean, it’s called “film noir.” Lurking in the shadows is kind of its whole thing. In any case, it’s almost jarring–in a good way–to see the antihero and the femme fatale (thought that’s not actually what she is) hanging out at the beach. Sure, post-war America was full of dark, existential questions that no one could answer but who says that means you can’t get a tan?