7.3/10
5,700
62 user 43 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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

High Sierra (1941)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Crime
    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
Drama | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
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
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
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 | Film-Noir | Romance
    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 | 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
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
Black Legion (1937)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a hard-working machinist loses a promotion to a Polish-born worker, he is seduced into joining the secretive Black Legion, which intimidates foreigners through violence.

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Dick Foran
Dead End (1937)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
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:

NO PICTURE IN 1940 WILL HAVE BIGGER THRILLS (original one-sheet poster) 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

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 »

Goofs

When Joe Fabrini first sits at Carlsen's desk, Carlsen strikes a match and lights it. Upon cutting to a different angle, Carlsen doesn't have a match in his hand, although it was flaming brightly prior to the edit. See more »

Quotes

Joe Fabrini: Ed's been always all right with me, and I'm never gonna be wrong with him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (2006) 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?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?