7.3/10
6,261
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 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

As Paul and Pearl are talking in their living room and he says, "We'll have so many kids we'll run out of names", a stagehand can be seen walking past the living room window. See more »

Quotes

Lana Carlsen: [about Joe's announcement that he is marrying Cassie] I committed murder to get you. Understand? Murder!
Joe Fabrini: You what?
Lana Carlsen: Sure! I killed Ed. I killed him to get you because you were always throwing him in my face. "Yes, Mrs. Carlsen." "No, Mrs. Carlsen." "No, Mrs. Carlsen." "Goodnight, Mrs. Carlsen." You made me do it. You understand? I didn't want to kill anyone, but you made me murder Ed... your friend!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Play It Again, Sam (1972) 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

 
Enjoyable, And Hard To Classify
5 March 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Not much action here for a "film noir" and really more of a melodrama than a crime story, but I still like this because the story's decent and it features a top-flight cast of actors who are usually fun to watch.

That cast includes George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart and Gale Page. My favorite of the group - in this film, at least - is Sheridan, a wise-cracking waitress. Raft and Bogart are truck drivers and Lupino plays the boss' wife. In here, the two women are more interesting than the men, which says a lot considering its Raft and Bogart.

Sheridan not only is easy on the eyes but delivers some great film-noir-type lines. Unfortunately, the edge is taken off her once she leave the diner and hitches a ride with Raft to Los Angeles.

Bogart plays more of a low-key family man whose wife (Page) is the nice- looking, wholesome type. This is one of the last movies Bogart made before he became a star. Hence, he gets fourth billing in here.

Lupino is very good as the vicious scorned woman, a role she found herself playing in a number of films.

As mentioned above, I'm not really sure how one would classify this film since there is humor, film noir, soap opera, straight drama and romance all in it. The combination makes the film interesting and recommended.


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