7.3/10
6,267
64 user 39 critic

They Drive by Night (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 August 1940 (USA)
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When one of 2 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)

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 brother's monthly $100 truck payment would be the equivalent of $1742 in 2016. They bought the load of lemons for $116, the equivalent of $2000, and sold it for $580, the equivalent of $9,999. See more »

Goofs

Just before the boys pull into Haig's truck stop there is a night scene of the truck on the highway with two cars behind it, and a road marker showing. After they leave Haig's the same scene is shown again with only a cloud slightly different. See more »

Quotes

Ed Carlsen: Early to rise and early to bed, makes a man healthy, but socially dead!
See more »


Soundtracks

Devil May Care
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Joe is leaving the party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of George Raft's best
8 August 2006 | by ROCKY-19See all my reviews

Let's get this out of the way first: Humphrey Bogart's legions of fans seem impelled to insult George Raft as often as possible, no matter how inappropriate or clearly wrong. Those not so blinded will thoroughly enjoy this odd, mixed bag of a picture. Raft and Bogey play brothers - very believably so - who are wildcat truck drivers trying to get ahead in a tough business during the Depression. The film is odd because it seems like two separate movies. It starts out as a seeming social commentary on the hard life of truckers with fine characterizations. But as soon as Ida Lupino appears it veers straight into film noir. I, personally, would have preferred a continuation of the tone of the first part of the film rather than be subjected to the "crazy b----" act that so many call "classic" and "stealing the picture." There either should have been more foreshadowing of this switch early in the film, or the screenwriters should have found something more consistent. At any rate, Raft and Bogart get to step away from gangster roles for a breather. They're still tough guys, but they're vulnerable to the whims of fate. Raft, in fact, is adorable here, uncharacteristically blue-collar and common, desperate to be in charge of his own life. He has instant chemistry with no-nonsense Ann Sheridan. Raft works so comfortably under Walsh's direction, it's rather refreshing. If rumors are true and Bogart and Raft were not getting along at this point, they were both professionals and hid it very well. Blame Lupino, but by the second half of the film, Bogart practically disappears just when we'd like to see more development of his very sympathetic character. For Bogart fans, this is not a "Bogey" film. He's simply prepping for legend-status just around the corner. It would have been nice to see more of Sheridan, as well. I don't recall Alan Hale ever being better than he is here - watch the small things he does with such a loud character. Lupino is definitely unforgettable, and her cult following will love this. Roscoe Karns is again a fun comic foil. The editing of the picture is sometimes a bit rough, and there is a telephone sequence that does not visually work. Arthur Edeson was a frustratingly inconsistent cinematographer, ranging from brilliant work like "Casa Blanca" to B level work. This is somewhere in the middle, but the road sequences are great.


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