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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 2,999 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?


This was a historical film in that it was the first to use the Los Angeles underground sewer and storm-drain system and its series of canals and tunnels as a backdrop. See more »


A revolver ejects its spent casings only if the shooter does so manually, which Richard Baseheart didn't do, therefore the police could not have even had them to compare with the fired casings from the automatic. An even bigger blunder was the photo comparing the two fired shells, they were clearly marked .380 auto, an entirely different round than the .38 special or .45 auto that the police claimed were fired from the same gun. So now there were three different guns used to create this technical error. In addition, when Jack Webb shows his blow-up photos, all three ejector markings are in the precise same location on the cartridge head, a statistical impossibility. In fact, all three are blow-ups of one photograph. See more »


Narrator: [Referring to the composite sketch] They showed that picture to the inmates of jails and prisons, to men with a wide acquaintance among the cat burglars and the violence boys, informers, con men, and sharpshooters - those on the fringe of crime and those deep in the rackets. Many wanted to help - nobody could! No one in the Underworld recognized that mysterious face. He was as unknown as if he had lived in the 16th Century.
See more »


Featured in Casino (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating to look at
26 November 2001 | by (Huntington, NY) – See all my reviews

HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948) has such a raw, bare-bones feel to it, a real "you are there" aura. A cheerless loner (Cold as an ice bomb Richard Basehart) kills a policeman. The search of the killer begins. This little B-film has so many unforgetable scenes, they drive in one after the other. (The police picking up every vagrant in the city searching for the cop killer, the look on the targeted cop's wife's face when she gets the bad news) My favorite scene is one that does not move the plot along, but creates such an uncomfortable mood. In it, Basehart tries to fish a bullet out of his arm at his sink as his dog yaps and whines in the background.

Well worth catching.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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