A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Amphibians In Movies

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You Only Live Once (1937)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
You Only Live Once You Only Live Once You Only Live Once

Eddie, played by Henry Fonda and his new wife Joan, played by Sylvia Sidney, are honeymooning outside their hotel room at night somewhere in a rural area outside a big city. We see a little artificial pond and hear Pacific Treefrogs calling, but when we see several frogs sitting on lily pads on the pond which are supposed to be the frogs we hear calling, we see American Bullfrogs.
Then Eddie and Joan have what must be the strangest honeymoon conversation about frogs ever heard in the movies. A conversation that that not very subtly foreshadows the rest of the film.

Eddie: "Listen, they sound just like crooners, dont' they?"
Joan: "Some crooners."
Eddie: "When I was a kid, we used to catch them in the sewer drains. Some of the kids would pull off their legs and fry 'em in bonfires. Used to make me sick. I got my first rap protecting a frog's life. It's the truth! I caught a kid doing that to a frog once. I beat him up. His mother sent me to a reform school."

They sneak up to sit on a bench next to the pond so they don't scare the frogs away and we see two bullfrogs sitting next to each other.

Eddie: "You know something about frogs? If one dies, the other dies.
Joan: "That's funny. Why?"
Eddie: "I don't know, except they just can't live without each other."
Joan: "Like Romeo and Juliet."
Eddie: "No kidding, that's how they are."
Joan: "How do you know so much about frogs?"
Eddie: "I've always known that. I though everybody did."

We see their reflection in the pond. Then a frog jumps into the water, distorting the reflection.

Joan: "I guess they see something in each other that noone else can see."
Eddie: "Maybe."


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