7.3/10
6,683
73 user 42 critic

They Drive by Night (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 August 1940 (USA)
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1:51 | Trailer
When one of two truck-driving brothers loses an arm, they both join a transport company where later, the other is falsely charged as an accessory in the murder of the owner.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Jerry Wald (screen play), Richard Macaulay (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Raft ... Joe Fabrini
Ann Sheridan ... Cassie Hartley
Ida Lupino ... Lana Carlsen
Humphrey Bogart ... Paul Fabrini
Gale Page ... Pearl Fabrini
Alan Hale ... Ed Carlsen
Roscoe Karns ... Irish McGurn
John Litel ... Harry McNamara
George Tobias ... George Rondolos
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Storyline

Brothers Paul and Joe Fabrini run a trucking business in California mainly shipping fruit from farms to the markets in Los Angeles. They struggle to make ends meet in the face of corrupt businessmen and intense competition. They are forced into driving long hours, and one night pick up waitress Cassie Hartley who's just quit her job at a truck stop. The three of them witness the death of a mutual acquaintance when he falls asleep at the wheel. This has a profound effect on Paul and Joe and they become determined to find a way to make the business pay so they can quit. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NO PICTURE IN 1940 WILL HAVE BIGGER THRILLS (original one-sheet poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De färdas om natten See more »

Filming Locations:

Owens Valley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $12.90 gas that Joe signs for is worth $232 in 2018; the $1.12 that Cassie has is worth about $20. See more »

Goofs

When Joe is sitting in Ed's office Lana sits with her arms folded. An instant later she is taking a puff from her cigarette. Is is the same scene when Ed lights his cigarette twice. See more »

Quotes

Joe Fabrini: When I'm relaxed my thoughts are clear.
Cassie Hartley: Yeah, I can even read them from here.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Leon René
Played at Mandel's Cafe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Evil Electric Eye Gets The Skippers Dad
28 August 2009 | by DKosty123See all my reviews

I get more respect for director Raoul Walsh with every film of his I see. In this one for Warner Brothers he does an excellent job with a strong cast telling a story about California Long Haul Truckers in the late 1930's. The realism is there all the way through.

This is one of George Rafts better performances, and Ida Lupino is excellent as the woman he scorns. Ann Sheridan is very good as the woman he loves. Humphrey Bogart in a supporting role is very good as Rafts brother. Alan Hale Sr. does a fine job as Lupinos husband.

The film gives the viewer a very strong flavor for what the early long haul trucking was like before World War 2. With the roads the way they were in that era, Long Haul in this is shorter than today & trucks were really just getting started, the railroads still dominated freight then in the US.

The story while more predictable than Dark Command which Walsh had just finished, still does a good job of pulling in the viewer with Raft & Bogarts characters flying on the edge of failure early in the film. The accident sequences are done crudely but this was in a day when the special effects were still developing. The main action in this film is truck accidents & a couple of fist fights.

This is a very fundamentally sound film as Raol Walsh always seems to deliver. In this case, the truckers deliver a good story.


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