62 user 41 critic

They Drive by Night (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 August 1940 (USA)
1:50 | Trailer

On Disc

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Two brothers struggle as wildcat truck drivers; one comes to harm, the other is accused of his friend's murder.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »



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Complete credited cast:
Harry McNamara
George Rondolos


Brothers Paul and Joe Fabrini run a trucking business in California mainly shipping fruit from farms to the markets in Los Angeles. They struggle to make ends meet in the face of corrupt businessmen and intense competition. They are forced into driving long hours and one night pick-up waitress Cassie Hartley who's just quit her job at a truck stop. The three of them witness the death of a mutual acquaintance when he falls asleep at the wheel. This has a profound effect on Paul and Joe and they become determined to find a way to make the business pay so they can quit. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrills . . . from coast to coast . . . ! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De färdas om natten  »

Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 2, 1941 with George Raft reprising his film role. See more »


Just before the boys pull into Haig's truck stop there is a night scene of the truck on the highway with two cars behind it, and a road marker showing. After they leave Haig's the same scene is shown again with only a cloud slightly different. See more »


Lana Carlsen: The doors made me do it!
See more »


Featured in The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides (2005) See more »


When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Leon René
Played at Mandel's Cafe
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable, And Hard To Classify
5 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not much action here for a "film noir" and really more of a melodrama than a crime story, but I still like this because the story's decent and it features a top-flight cast of actors who are usually fun to watch.

That cast includes George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart and Gale Page. My favorite of the group - in this film, at least

  • is Sheridan, a wise-cracking waitress. Raft and Bogart are truck

drivers and Lupino plays the boss' wife. In here, the two women are more interesting than the men, which says a lot considering its Raft and Bogart.

Sheridan not only is easy on the eyes but delivers some great film-noir-type lines. Unfortunately, the edge is taken off her once she leave the diner and hitches a ride with Raft to Los Angeles.

Bogart plays more of a low-key family man whose wife (Page) is the nice- looking, wholesome type. This is one of the last movies Bogart made before he became a star. Hence, he gets fourth billing in here.

Lupino is very good as the vicious scorned woman, a role she found herself playing in a number of films.

As mentioned above, I'm not really sure how one would classify this film since there is humor, film noir, soap opera, straight drama and romance all in it. The combination makes the film interesting and recommended.

41 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ida Lupino is excellent!!! Romojo
they drive by night colorized waggsmom
Ed Carlson too naive? jeffreylincoln
Same plot as Bordertown (1935) berlin45
Gale Page beats out Lupino and Sheridan rkolsen
Theme music. Hup234!
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