Returning to New York after having served some harrowing duty in WW II, Garfield, an ex-gambler and confidence man, discovers that his girl friend, Emerson, has taken his money and run off with another man. In addition, Garfield's gambling interests have been taken over by a rival faction. Left without income or love, Garfield decides to force his rivals to pay him for his interest in the gambling operation and then cut all his ties with New York. Accompanied by one of his cronies, Tobias, Garfield heads for the space and light of California. There he runs into Brennan, an old man who served as Garfield's crime mentor. Brennan has been hired by a group led by Coulouris to persuade Garfield to finance the fleecing of a young widow who has inherited a fortune. Garfield is interested, but, when he sees the beautiful young widow, Fitzgerald, he decides to pull the job personally and divide the cash with Coulouris. As he romances Fitzgerald, Garfield actually begins to fall in love with her and decides to end the game by offering to pay Coulouris out of his own pocket. Meanwhile, Garfield's former flame Emerson has arrived. Upon hearing of Garfield's offer, she convinces Coulouris that Garfield is trying to cheat him. Seeking revenge, Coulouris kidnaps Fitzgerald and holds her for ransom. Brennan learns that Fitzgerald is being held captive at a deserted pier, and Garfield shows up to rescue her. In the ensuing gun battle, Brennan and Coulouris shoot each other dead, leaving Garfield to begin a new life with Fitzgerald. Scripted by W.R. Burnett from his own short story, "I Wasn't Born Yesterday," NOBODY LIVES FOREVER is an interesting, if minor, early film noir. Garfield is strong in a role that Warner Brothers had originally announced for Humphrey Bogart. Although Garfield was itching to get out of his Warner Bros. contract and entered into the project with little enthusiasm, he did look forward to working with Fitzgerald, an actress whose work he admired. Director Negulesco made the most of the contrast between New York City and the Pacific coast of California where Garfield finally makes his bid for a new life. Since the plot elements of the story were hackneyed, Negulesco and Garfield went for subtlety and mood to create an effective character study of a man who feels he no longer belongs to the society he left behind when he went to war.