For You I Die (December 17, 1947)

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Paul Langton and Cathy Downs in For You I Die
 

Released on December 17, 1947: An escaped prisoner hides out at a rural roadside diner and bus stop.

Produced by Robert Presnell Sr. and John Reinhardt

Directed by John Reinhardt

The Actors: Cathy Downs (Hope Novak), Paul Langton (Johnny Coulter, escaped convict), Mischa Auer (Alec Shaw, taxi driver), Roman Bohnen (Smitty the cook), Jane Weeks (Georgie), Marian Kerby (Maggie Dillon), Mannela Callejo (Louisa Shaw, dancer), Don C. Harvey (Matt Gruber, escaped convict), Charles Waldron Jr. (Patrolman Jerry), Rory Mallinson (Patrolman Mac), Don Brodie (motorist at diner), Tommy Noonan (stick-up man)

 

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The Escaped Convict and the Roadside Dames

The comedy relief in this crime drama was provided by Mischa Auer, a Russian immigrant. When the escaped convict in this story makes fun of his accent and suggests that he isn’t an American, Mischa responds that the escaped convict is only American because he was born here, but he is an American because he chose to be.

Mischa Auer was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. His grandfather was a famous violinist and his father was an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy. His father died in battle while Mischa was still a baby, and his mother was reduced to poverty, forcing them to live on the streets as vagrants.

They eventually fled to Turkey where his mother got work as a nurse. Unfortunately she got typhus from one of her patients and she died while Mischa was still very young. Without family or money, he dug her grave with his bare hands before wandering from Turkey to Italy. While in Italy he discovered that his mother’s father was a prominent violinist in New York City, and Mischa emigrated to the U.S. to live with his grandfather.

With his grandfather’s help he became an accomplished musician, but his passion was to become an actor. Despite the disasters that plagued his youth, he was a wildly positive man who loved America and loved acting. While rarely the leading man, Mischa Auer became a well-known and beloved character actor with almost 200 motion pictures to his credit before retiring in 1967. In this adventure he is Alex the taxi driver who is on vacation at the roadside diner and cabins with his Spanish dancer wife.

As our adventure opens we meet two convicts who have escaped from prison. Johnny Coulter is a young man about to be released from prison, and as a trustee he drives the garbage truck around the prison grounds picking up all the garbage. Hardened criminal Matt Gruber jumped onto the truck and forced young Johnny Coulter to drive through the gates and out of the prison. Now the cops are looking for both of them, and the cops all believe that Johnny was in on the escape, not knowing that he was forced at gunpoint to drive through the gates.

Outside the prison the two men split up, and hardened criminal Matt tells Johnny to go to Maggie Dillon’s roadside diner and wait for him there, and then they will head to Mexico together. While waiting at Maggie’s place Johnny discovers the pleasures of simple life with simple people, including sexy Georgie, demure Hope, Maggie ‘Ma’ Dillon and the crazy Russian taxi driver who loves life more than if he were a millionaire.

Johnny will struggle between wanting to run away and wanting to stay and join this happy cluster of people living on a wide spot along a lonely road where nobody knows who he is. Unfortunately hardened criminal Matt finally shows up and Johnny needs to decide. Things do not go well, and after fighting with Matt, Johnny is knocked out cold on the ground outside the diner . . . . Then the gunfire begins . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Cathy Downs
Cathy Downs
Cathy Downs and Jane Weeks
Cathy Downs and Jane Weeks
Cathy Downs and Marian Kerby
Cathy Downs and Marian Kerby
Cathy Downs and Marian Kerby
Cathy Downs and Marian Kerby
Cathy Downs
Cathy Downs
Don C. Harvey and Roman Bohnen
Don C. Harvey and Roman Bohnen
Jane Weeks
Jane Weeks
Jane Weeks, Marian Kerby and Roman Bohnene
Jane Weeks, Marian Kerby and Roman Bohnene
Jane Weeks and Marian Kerby
Jane Weeks and Marian Kerby
Jane Weeks and Paul Langton
Jane Weeks and Paul Langton
Jane Weeks and Paul Langton
Jane Weeks and Paul Langton
Jane Weeks
Jane Weeks
Manela Callejo and Mischa Auer
Manela Callejo and Mischa Auer
Marian Kerby and Jane Weeks
Marian Kerby and Jane Weeks
Marian Kerby
Marian Kerby
Mischa Auer
Mischa Auer
Mischa Auer
Mischa Auer
Paul Langton and Marian Kerby
Paul Langton and Marian Kerby
Cathy Downs and Paul Langton
Cathy Downs and Paul Langton
Paul Langton
Paul Langton
Roman Bohnen
Roman Bohnen
Roman Bohnen
Roman Bohnen