Make Haste to Live

Make Haste to Live is a 1954 film noir thriller film directed by William A. Seiter, and starring Dorothy McGuire and Stephen McNally. This is an adaptation of the Gordons novel of the same name.

Make Haste to Live
Make haste to live poster small.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam A. Seiter
Produced byWilliam A. Seiter
Screenplay byWarren B. Duff
Based onthe novel
by Mildred Gordon
Gordon Gordon
StarringDorothy McGuire
Stephen McNally
Music byElmer Bernstein
CinematographyJohn L. Russell
Edited byFred Allen
Republic Pictures
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • March 25, 1954 (1954-03-25) (New York City)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States


Crystal Benson is a single mother living in a small town in New Mexico. One afternoon, her teenage daughter, Randy, mentions running into a man who tells her she reminds him of someone he once knew.

Crystal, already jumpy and unable to sleep, knows that this man is her mobster husband, Steve. She knows that he has recently been paroled from prison after serving 18 years. When she first met Steve, she had been captivated by him but, upon discovering his vicious behavior, including involvement in the murder of a police officer, she took their baby and fled.

Expecting Steve to exact murderous revenge on her, Crystal prepares a tape recording explaining everything about her relationship with the man. She puts aside the recording, and money, for Randy to access after her mother's death.

Steve insinuates himself into their lives; he makes it clear he wants to take Randy away and that he will fulfill his long-held plan to torment, and likely kill, Crystal. She tells everyone he is her brother, with whom she has had a difficult, often estranged history. Randy enjoys having her "uncle" in her life.

Crystal organizes an escape for her daughter and herself; she is, however, seemingly transparent to Steve, and he is always, until the end, on her trail.



Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote, "Warren Duff's screen play is hackneyed and William A. Seiter's direction is dull. No one's performance is exciting. Only Edgar Buchanan as a sheriff seems slightly real."[1]


  1. ^ Crowther, Bosley (March 26, 1954). "Make Haste to Live (1954)". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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