|I Want To Live/1958/continued|
|Susan Hayward won
an Academy Award for her
portrayal of Barbara Graham
in "I Want To Live"
This charcoal portrait was done by famous Hollywood Artist,
Nicholas Volpe...He was commissioned by the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1962 to create this beautiful artwork.
After being nominated four times previously for a Best Actress Oscar, Susan Hayward finally won the award for her portrayal of Barbara Graham in "I Want To Live!", a harrowing drama based on fact. The LA Police Department and many people in the film industry tried to dissuade producer Walter Wanger from tackling the subject of a woman executed in the gas chamber, and containing an anti-capital punishment message. Wanger was vindicated by the industry, if not the police, when the picture won praise and made over $3 million. Graham, a cardsharp, thief and prostitute, was sentenced to death for murder, despite some doubt about her guilt. Among those fighting to save her were a psychologist
(Theodore Bikel) and a journalist Ed Montgomery (Simon Oakland) from whose articles the script by Nelson Gidding and Don Mankiewicz was derived. The main wallop packed by Robert Wise's clinically realistic direction was the long final sequence as Graham prepares for death, and the scene in the gas chamber. Much of the film's force also depended on the gritty performance by Hayward, who showed the vulnerability but also the toughness of the woman. Virginia Vincent, Wesley Lau ,and Philip Coolidge had other roles. The director,(Robert Wise) the screenwriters, the cinematographer (Lionel Lindon) and the film editor (William Hornbeck) received Oscar nominations.--excerpted from
"The United Artists Story " by Ronald Bergan-
Crown Publishers Incorporated, New York
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