Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-marshaled out of the army and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has ... See full summary »
Three time loser Duke Berne risks life in prison with one more armored car robbery. His attorney's wife Lorna, Berne's old sweetheart, keeps him from it but he goes to jail anyway. Duke and... See full summary »
Manhattan gangster John "Czar" Martin enters the trucking business in an effort to control the produce market. When he catches popular trucker Danny Jordan robbing the gang's office to ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The wife of producer Mark Hellinger, Gladys Glad, a former showgirl for Broadway producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., was responsible for getting this film made. Hellinger had brought home a large stack of scripts that he was to read for filming consideration. He had leafed through the script and read the summary, but felt that "nobody would pay money to see a bunch of truck drivers". His wife read this script, liked it and pressured Hellinger to read it. Reluctantly, he did, the film eventually got made and became the sleeper hit of the year for Warners. It was made for an estimated $400,000 and grossed more than $4,000,000. (Source: Book "The Mark Hellinger Story" by Jim Bishop, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1952) See more »
As Paul and Pearl are talking in their living room and he says, "We'll have so many kids we'll run out of names", a stagehand can be seen walking past the living room window. See more »
You know something, Red? l like you. l like the way you fill out your clothes. l like everything about you.
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George Raft and Humphrey Bogart are the truck driving Fabrini Brothers, a pair of owner/operators who when their truck is totaled in a bad wreck go to work for goodhearted Alan Hale who owns a trucking company. Hale's a decent sort, but kind of crude and that grates on his pretty wife Ida Lupino. She's got an eye on Raft. But Raft likes earthy, sexy Ann Sheridan.
They Drive By Night from the working class studio of Warner Brothers is one of the earliest examples of sexual harassment shown on screen. Ida will do anything to possess Raft even kill for it.
The film really belongs to the women here. Ann Sheridan and Ida really do dominate this film, especially Ida with an over the top performance of a woman driven mad by her obsession.
Back in the day it was the habit of studios to make sure they had lots of backup in their roster. Bette Davis was legendarily feuding with Jack Warner for better roles and she had staged a well publicized walk out on her contract. I have no doubt that this film was to build up Ida Lupino as a Davis alternative. The part Lupino does play has Davis written all over it.
My guess is that Davis would not have wanted to appear opposite George Raft any more than opposite Errol Flynn. So the part went to Lupino who recognized a good role and ran away with it.
Humphrey Bogart is totally wasted in the brother part. He loses an arm in the wreck and has little to do, but be supportive to his brother and resist taking charity. He and Lupino would both boost their careers in their next film High Sierra.
For those who like to see people crack up on screen, They Drive By Night is the film for you.
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