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Sunday June 23rd 2024

I Want To Live! | 1958

There was an Oscar for Susan Hayward, playing Barbara Graham, who was sent to the gas chamber in 1955 on dubious evidence, in this downbeat, semi-documentary-style anti-capital punishment drama from Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, West Side Story).

I Want To Live! filming location: San Quentin State Prison, San Rafael, California
I Want To Live! location: the prison: San Quentin State Prison, San Rafael, California

Prison scenes were filmed at the real San Quentin State Prison, at San Rafael on I-580 just over the Toll Bridge from Richmond, California. The gas chamber was, however, reconstructed on the soundstage in Hollywood.

If you want to visit this notorious facility of San Quentin, there is a San Quentin Prison Museum. Not surprisingly, there are strict security rules, so you'll need photo ID – and don't wear either denim or orange.

San Quentin was briefly glimpsed in the opening shots of 1947 film noir Dark Passage, as Humphrey Bogart escapes from the prison.