7.2/10
4,312
87 user 49 critic

He Walked by Night (1948)

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

Directors:

Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker), Anthony Mann (uncredited)

Writers:

Crane Wilbur (story), Crane Wilbur (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Basehart ... Roy Martin / Roy Morgan
Scott Brady ... Police Sgt. Marty Brennan
Roy Roberts ... Police Capt. Breen
Whit Bissell ... Paul Reeves
James Cardwell ... Police Sgt. Chuck Jones
Jack Webb ... Lee Whitey
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Storyline

In the Post-World War II, in Los Angeles, a criminal shoots and kills a police officer in the middle of the night. Without any leads, the chief of the LAPD assigns Sgt. Chuck Jones and Sgt. Marty Brennan to investigate the murder and apprehend the culprits. When the dealer of electronics devices, Paul Reeves, is caught selling a stolen projector, the police identifies the criminal, and connects him to other unsolved robberies. Using the witnesses of his heists, they draw their face, but the true identity of the smart and intelligent criminal is not disclosed. The perseverance of Sgt. Marty Brennan in his investigation gives a clue where he might live. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Savage TRUTH! Stronger than Fiction! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Chinese

Release Date:

10 May 1949 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

The L.A. Investigator See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bryan Foy Productions 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

This was a historical film in that it was the first to use the Los Angeles underground sewer and storm-drain system and its series of canals and tunnels as a backdrop. See more »

Goofs

Code 3 is radio code for Red Light and Siren. With LAPD, only one unit is authorized to run Code 3 at a time not all units as in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: And so the tedious quest went on. Sergeant Brennan wore out his shoes and his patience going from police station to police station, checking photos until his eyes were blurry. For police work is not all glamour and excitement and glory. There are days and days of routine, of tedious probing, of tireless searching. Fruitless days. Days when nothing goes right, when it seems as if no one could ever think his way through the maze of baffling trails a criminal leaves. But the answer to that is ...
See more »

Connections

Edited into Indestructible Man (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doing It By the Numbers
4 August 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Richard Basehart shoots down an LAPD officer one night after the offduty patrolman stops him for some suspicious activity. The officer who paid with his life had every reason to be suspicious, Basehart was attempting to break into an electronics store.

The shooting sets off a manhunt that takes more than a month. Captain Roy Roberts and Detective Scott Brady lead the investigation which takes both men into some unexpected places in trying to track down the culprit.

This was Richard Basehart's breakthrough role in He Walked By Night. He plays a really diabolical stone cold killer in this one who apparently has no liking for humans. His only companion in the world is a dog.

This clever little noir thriller is done in the documentary style that seemed to be in vogue after World War II. I'm also sure that the final chase scene through the storm drain must have inspired Carol Reed to put it in The Third Man where the idea got more notice.

The lack of really big name stars gives this film a realistic approach. Look for Jack Webb in a supporting role as a police lab technician. I Don't doubt he got the idea for Dragnet from working on He Walked By Night.


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