7.3/10
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They Drive by Night (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 August 1940 (USA)
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Two brothers struggle as wildcat truck drivers; one comes to harm, the other is accused of his friend's murder.

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:

Thrills . . . from coast to coast . . . ! 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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,000,000
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 wife of producer Mark Hellinger, Gladys Glad, a former showgirl for Broadway producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., was responsible for getting this film made. Hellinger had brought home a large stack of scripts that he was to read for filming consideration. He had leafed through the script and read the summary, but felt that "nobody would pay money to see a bunch of truck drivers". His wife read this script, liked it and pressured Hellinger to read it. Reluctantly, he did, the film eventually got made and became the sleeper hit of the year for Warners. It was made for an estimated $400,000 and grossed more than $4,000,000. (Source: Book "The Mark Hellinger Story" by Jim Bishop, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1952) See more »

Goofs

When Joe arrives at his boss' party, Lana greets him at the door and takes a deep drag from her cigarette. In the subsequent shot, she continues speaking and never exhales the cigarette smoke. See more »

Quotes

Paul Fabrini: Sure, I want to sleep. Everyone sleeps once in a while, remember? You'd think I wanted to do something peculiar.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Great Stars (1963) 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

 
Good cast & story, but how melodramatic!
30 August 2004 | by dougandwinSee all my reviews

When I first saw this, it was called "The Road to Frisco", and I often wondered why it was never shown on TV, until I saw it recently under its correct title. A very good cast (George Raft excepted) with Humphrey Bogart being forced into a secondary role, while Ann Sheridan does her usual good job as the diner waitress, and an old favourite of mine Gale Page getting a decent role at last! The story was good, but the highlight was the over-the-top scene with Ida Lupino in Court - by today's standards it was overacting, but at the time it was a brilliant performance. The supporting cast headed by Warner stalwart Alan Hale added a lot, and would have been a lot better with a capable actor in the Raft role.


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