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He Walked by Night (1948)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,835 users  
Reviews: 67 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 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:

10 May 1949 (Argentina)  »

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

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 »

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

Featured in Menace II Society (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doing It By the Numbers
4 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Richard Basehart shoots down an LAPD officer one night after the offduty patrolman stops him for some suspicious activity. The officer who paid with his life had every reason to be suspicious, Basehart was attempting to break into an electronics store.

The shooting sets off a manhunt that takes more than a month. Captain Roy Roberts and Detective Scott Brady lead the investigation which takes both men into some unexpected places in trying to track down the culprit.

This was Richard Basehart's breakthrough role in He Walked By Night. He plays a really diabolical stone cold killer in this one who apparently has no liking for humans. His only companion in the world is a dog.

This clever little noir thriller is done in the documentary style that seemed to be in vogue after World War II. I'm also sure that the final chase scene through the storm drain must have inspired Carol Reed to put it in The Third Man where the idea got more notice.

The lack of really big name stars gives this film a realistic approach. Look for Jack Webb in a supporting role as a police lab technician. I Don't doubt he got the idea for Dragnet from working on He Walked By Night.


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