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He Walked by Night (1948)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  10 May 1949 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,000 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 39 critic

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.


(as Alfred Werker) , (uncredited)


(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Police Capt. Breen
James Cardwell ...
Police Sgt. Chuck Jones
Lee Whitey


In the Post-World War II, in Los Angeles, a criminal shots and kills a police officer in the middle of the night. Without any leads, the chief of the LAPD assigns Sgt. Chuck Jones and Sgt. Marty Brennan to investigate the murder and apprehend the culprits. When the dealer of electronics devices, Paul Reeves, is caught selling a stolen projector, the police identifies the criminal, and connects him to other unsolved robberies. Using the witnesses of his heists, they draw their face, but the true identity of the smart and intelligent criminal is not disclosed. The perseverance of Sgt. Marty Brennan in his investigation gives a clue where he might live. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Savage! ... Searing! ... True! See more »


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Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

10 May 1949 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

The L.A. Investigator  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The killer lives in Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd. between Fuller Avenue and Poinsettia Avenue. A large shopping mall occupies as of January 2013. See more »


When Martin flees from his bungalow into the sewer system, the first shot shows him running in the sewer with a torch and a bag in his hand. This is the same shot as used earlier on in the film after he started robbing liquor stores. (In this later scene, he did not have a bag when he fled the bungalow nor when he entered the sewers.) See more »


Narrator: And so the tedious quest went on. Sergeant Brennan wore out his shoes and his patience going from police station to police station, checking photos until his eyes were blurry, for policework is not all glamor and excitement and glory. There are days and days of routine, of tedious probing, of tireless searching - fruitless days - days when nothing goes right, when it seems as if no one could think his way through the maze of baffling trails the criminal leaves. But the answer to that is ...
See more »


Edited into Indestructible Man (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Alton's Camera, Basehart's Acting Highlight This Noir
22 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not as good as hyped, this film noir, however, is still interesting and suspenseful. It's full of good film noir photography with lots of nighttime shots with many shadows, not only outdoors but indoors and even in the Los Angeles sewer system! I recommended getting the Anthony Mann DVD pack so you get the best picture quality. With all that darkness, you need to see this on a good transfer.

Mann is an uncredited director for this film, or at least a co-director. John Alton, the cinematographer who worked with him on a couple of other film noirs, did the camera-work and he was one of the best.

Richard Basehart plays a convincing no-conscience killer. He as very interesting to watch all the way through. It also was entertaining to see a young Jack Webb play a forensics-type cop. This was his pre-Dragnet television show period but this was a good vehicle for his cop work. In fact, this movie even had a Dragnet feel to it with some kooky minor characters, such as the lady talking to the milkman/cop.

This movie dragged a big in the middle but overall was entertaining enough to recommend, especially to film noir fans. Just make sure you see this with a good print.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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