MovieChat Forums > You Only Live OnceĀ (1937) Discussion > Are you old enough to remember the 1930s...

Are you old enough to remember the 1930s?


The theme is heavy handed about how tough life is for convicts trying to go straight. Would it really be that difficult to find some sort of job as a convict? It seems that there would be no real easy and fast way to find out if a person had a criminal record, and that he would be able to find some sort of low level job without his criminal record being verified.
It also seems unlikely that the owner/manager of the trucking company would have given Eddie a job in the first place, and then be such a capricious prick to him later. The directer could have made it look more realistic by showing Eddie knowingly taking a risk of being late or some other low level infraction before getting fired. The way it was portrayed, he was fired more out of spite than wrongdoing.

reply

i'll take statistics over anecdotes and an imagined world where everyone is an exception.

for a sense of the bleakness of the job market faced by this film's contemporary audience, consider the following graph: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/US_Unemployment_189 0-2009.gif

small excerpt from a modern study of incarceration and employment: "... analysis indicates that the employment rates of formerly-incarcerated men are about 6 percentage points lower than for similar men who have not been incarcerated." source: http://www.saferfoundation.org/files/documents/Princeton-Effect%20of%2 0Incarceration%20on%20Employment%20and%20Wages.pdf

and i'm sure there's much, much more, all of it leading, no doubt, to the same conclusion: job-hunting as a three-time ex-con during the great depression would've been like looking for a needle in a haystack.

reply

>>job-hunting as a three-time ex-con during the great depression would've been like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Sure, if they had computer background checks like they do today. And even today, there have been wanted criminals who lived on the lam for the last 30 years before the long arm of the law finally caught up with them. And all the while they have started a new family with gainful employment. Of course if it was during the depression, that would make it hard for anyone to find work, ex-con or not.

reply

Reminds me a little of the Clyde and Bonnie happenings a few years prior. After Clyde got out of prison, he swore to go straight. And even managed to get a few honest jobs. But whenever a crime happened the cops had no problem coming by his work, picking him up to take him for interrogation. This of course caused him to be fire from his honest jobs, forcing him to turn back into a life of crime. And Bonnie at first didn't have any involvement in the crimes, but her desire for Clyde mixed with the need to survive while on the lam also placed her in a corner she couldn't get out of.

reply