7.3/10
5,291
61 user 40 critic

They Drive by Night (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 August 1940 (USA)
Two brothers struggle as wildcat truck drivers; one comes to harm, the other is accused of his friend's murder.

Director:

Writers:

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

On Disc

at Amazon

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

High Sierra (1941)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed, kicked out of the Army, and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. ... See full summary »

Directors: John Huston, Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet
Dark Passage (1947)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bruce Bennett
Conflict (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An engineer trapped in an unhappy marriage murders his wife in the hope of marrying her younger sister.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Alexis Smith, Sydney Greenstreet
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Runyonesque Broadway gamblers turn patriotic when they stumble onto a cell of Nazi saboteurs.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Conrad Veidt, Kaaren Verne
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis
Drama | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Five patriotic convicts are helped to escape imprisonment in Devil's Island so they can fight for occupied Free French forces against the Nazis.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Michèle Morgan
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A soldier runs away rather than receive the Medal of Honor, so his buddy gets permission to investigate, and love and death soon follow.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Byron Haskin, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sothern
San Quentin (1937)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An army trainer becomes captain of the prison yard and in time, falls for the sister of a hardened inmate.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Gale Page ...
...
...
...
Harry McNamara
...
George Rondolos
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De färdas om natten  »

Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"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 »

Goofs

When Joe and Paul's truck crashes, a motorist in a 1933 Cadillac with California license number 2N 214 stops to give assistance. Later, at Ed and Lana Carlson's anniversary party the same car (and same license number) is shown as one of Ed's cars as he demonstrates his garage door opener. See more »

Quotes

Joe Fabrini: When I'm relaxed my thoughts are clear.
Cassie Hartley: Yeah, I can even read them from here.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Humphrey Bogart (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Devil May Care
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Joe is leaving the party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fantastic film noir
18 November 2007 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

The film noir 'genre' has delivered a lot of great films, but few top this one; and that's really saying something considering just how many great noirs there are. The film is something of an odd one with regards to the way the plot moves; it's really a movie of three sections, and the way it jumps from the first section to the second section is wholly unexpected. I suppose the way that the film moves may be the reason why this isn't universally accepted as one of the best films of its type; but if you ask me the strange plot is one of the film's strongest points - nobody wants to sit through a predictable movie, and They Drive by Night is anything but predictable. The plot focuses on two brothers - Joe and Paul Fabrini. The pair drive a truck delivering things to the market and not making a lot of money. They finally get a break when Joe takes a risk and decides to buy his own consignment; but their luck takes a turn for the worse when Paul crashes the truck and becomes unable to work. Joe then takes a job working for his old friend Ed's company, which brings about problems of its own...

One of the trademarks of the noir style of film-making is a thick foreboding atmosphere; this film features that and then some. They Drive by Night takes it further than most, and the film almost has an affinity with the horror genre for its dark atmosphere, plot and characters. Once the film moves into the second stage, the horror elements are rampant. The acting in the film is excellent; George Raft and Humphrey Bogart are entirely convincing as the rag-tag pair of brothers, while excellent support is given from two ladies; Ann Sheridan and Ida Lupino. It's Ida Lupino that really makes this film what it is for me; her icy cold persona is breathtaking, and she holds the screen excellently. The murder scene in this film is extremely effective also; and while not as spectacular as some of the death scenes in the gory horror flicks that I often watch, its subtleness makes it memorable. The final third of the film is a courtroom drama and it's the worst part of it for me, but that isn't enough to ruin what is a brilliant film and I certainly would not hesitate to recommend They Drive by Night to noir fans and everyone else.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
they drive by night colorized waggsmom
Ida Lupino is excellent!!! Romojo
Ed Carlson too naive? jeffreylincoln
Same plot as Bordertown (1935) berlin45
DVD Documentary Randy_D
Gale Page beats out Lupino and Sheridan rkolsen
Discuss They Drive by Night (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?