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He Walked by Night (1948)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,837 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film served as something of a template for "Dragnet," which debuted on radio the following year, right down to the "this is the city" style opening narration, and the fact that a disclaimer appears at the beginning informing the audience that the names have been changed to protect the innocent. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Casino (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Definitely the progenitor of Dragnet
11 March 2001 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

As related on http://www.adam-12.com/webb.htm ...

  • quote -




In 1949, Jack landed the role of Lt. Lee Jones in the film

"He walked by Night." After meeting LAPD Sgt. Marty Wynn,

a technical advisor for the show, Jack got the idea to develop

Dragnet after being invited to review LAPD case files.

  • end quote -




Several elements associated with _Dragnet_ appear already in _He Walked_: not only the stolid narration but also the devotion of time to routine and even futile work, the interviewing of oddballs, the explication of technology, and the incidental chit-chat about the family.

One interesting point is that we never get to find out the killer's motive: even at the expense of the audience's aesthetic satisfaction, the killer's point of view is denied to us. The only lessons we can learn from the movie are the lessons that the police learn.


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