7.2/10
208
15 user 4 critic

They Drive by Night (1938)

A convict, just out of prison, is implicated in a murder and goes on the run, hitching a ride with a truck driver.

Director:

Arthur B. Woods

Writers:

James Curtis (novel), James Curtis (screenplay and dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Emlyn Williams ... Shorty Matthews
Anna Konstam Anna Konstam ... Molly O'Neill
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Wally Mason
Ernest Thesiger ... Walter Hoover
Jennie Hartley Jennie Hartley ... Landlady
Ronald Shiner Ronald Shiner ... Charlie
Anthony Holles Anthony Holles ... Murray
William Hartnell ... Bus Conductor (as Billy Hartnell)
Kitty de Legh Kitty de Legh ... Mrs. Mason
Joe Cunningham Joe Cunningham ... Detective Pryor
Yolande Terrell Yolande Terrell ... Marge
Julie Barrie Julie Barrie ... Pauline
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Storyline

A convict, just out of prison, is implicated in a murder and goes on the run, hitching a ride with a truck driver.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1939 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Efter mörkrets inbrott See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Do not give up on this movie.
12 August 2009 | by Irie212See all my reviews

"They Drive By Night" (not to be confused with the Bogart) had a rare showing in a New York theater in 2009, as part of a series on British film noir. The only reason the theater screening matters is because of crowd reaction. And the reaction to this film, especially the final sequences, was absolutely joyous.

The movie is at least 2/3rds over before one of the main characters appears, the former schoolmaster Walter Hoover, played by the unbelievably urbane, stick-figure-thin Ernest Thesiger. The camera starts on his hands, so you only see what he's doing-- pasting newspaper clippings about lurid murders into a scrapbook-- but when his face is finally revealed, the whole audience seemed to sit a bit straighter, and we stayed that way through the end, reacting with open delight to this character's every movement, his every phrase.

I mean to take nothing away from the star of the film, Emlyn Williams (who wrote almost as many films as he starred in), but Ernest Thesiger was capable of turning a lousy movie into a watchable one, and a good movie into an unforgettable one. This is definitely the latter.


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