Just after newsman Rooker and Ruth Kearns are married he covers a double murder during a bank robbery. Cigarettes at the scene implicate gangster Tony Garotta. Garotta kidnaps Rooker and another reporter, intending to kill them.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joe Rooker
...
Ruth Kearns
...
Tony Garotta
Harry Stubbs ...
Bob O'Leary
...
Capt. O'Donnell
Ralph Welles ...
Blondie
...
Mac
...
Ed
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Storyline

Just after newsman Rooker and Ruth Kearns are married he covers a double murder during a bank robbery. Cigarettes at the scene implicate gangster Tony Garotta. Garotta kidnaps Rooker and another reporter, intending to kill them.

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Plot Keywords:

gangster | murder | reporter | See All (3) »

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Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

12 January 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Out to Kill  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Neat little suspenser
23 September 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'Night Ride' is interesting as one of Edward G Robinson's first gangster roles. He's doing all the things here that he would later do much more notably in 'Little Caesar' and 'Key Largo'. Yet, in this film he's easily out-acted by handsome Joseph Schildkraut in the lead role. Schildkraut and Robinson were both European immigrants; it's intriguing to see them here, both very convincing as firmly American types: one good (and WASP), the other bad (and ethnic).

Joe Rooker (Schildkraut) is a breezy reporter for a big-city newspaper: the same character type who would later be played by Clark Gable and Lee Tracy. In a slight switch on the character type, Rooker has just got married in the first reel ... and is deciding to settle down with his new bride Ruth. When two local murders get a lot of attention, Rooker files a news story attributing the murders to gangster Tony Garotta (Robinson) and his gang.

Next thing you know, Garotta and his gorillas kidnap Rooker and fellow reporter Bob. The two newshounds are bundled into a limo, and taken for a ride to the quay, where they are transferred to a motorboat. Rooker knows that he and his buddy are being taken for a 'ride', as in a one-way trip. En route, Garotta blithely informs Rooker that his gang have fire-bombed Rooker's house. Rooker's wife Ruth and her mother were home at the time, so now they must be dead ... right? And Rooker is headed for a watery grave...

'Night Ride' is a neat B-thriller, with a short running time and a taut suspenseful pace. Joseph Schildkraut gives an excellent performance here; I'm surprised that he didn't become more successful as a leading man. Schildkraut had the same problem as the later actor Jack Cassidy; both men were a little too unbelievably handsome, and were more acceptable as cads than as nice guys. Also seen to good advantage here, all too briefly, is George Ovey as one of Garotta's henchmen. Ovey was a bland-looking little guy who had some slight success as a comedian in low-budget silent-films. By the time talkies came round, Ovey's best years were behind him, and he managed to extend his career slightly in undistinguished character roles. 'Night Ride' is probably his best sound-era performance. I'll rate this neat suspenser 8 out of 10.


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