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He Walked by Night (1948)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,679 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 36 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.

Directors:

(as Alfred Werker) , (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: He Walked by Night (1948)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Scott Brady ...
Police Sgt. Marty Brennan
...
Police Capt. Breen
...
James Cardwell ...
Police Sgt. Chuck Jones
...
Lee Whitey
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

From the Homicide Files of the Los Angeles Police. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

9 August 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The L.A. Investigator  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Edited into The Big Combo (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
cold performance by Basehart makes this film
8 February 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While most remember Richard Basehart from VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, he did quite a few "small" pictures during the 40s and 50s and they were mostly excellent and well-written pictures. Aside from the marvelous Satan BUG (1965), this film is probably Basehart's best--and as far as HIS acting goes, his best. He is one of the most cold-hearted and scary villains I have ever seen. This is because he is NOT larger than life or obviously menacing. Instead, he looks like any other guy and can appear nice and harmless--only to steal or butcher without remorse. At the same time, the film is NOT overly explicit or gratuitous--it's just a wonderful portrait of a brilliant sociopath at work.


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