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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.


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


John C. Higgins (screenplay), Crane Wilbur (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




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


In post WW II, Los Angeles, a cop's killed in the middle of the night. With no leads, the chief of police assigns Sgts. Jones and Brennan to investigate and apprehend the killer. They target low-level criminals, such as Paul Reeves, hoping he'll lead them to bigger fish, specially, the one who shot and killed the cop. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Did You Know?


While the Police department is not indicated by script or visual cues or logo as being LAPD the map shown at the opening and closing of the film is unmistakably marked "City of Los Angeles". This clearly identifies the police as being LAPD. Who else could they be referring to. See more »


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.

While that may be procedure, in an instance of an officer being shot, all nearby units would respond code 3 and would not be penalized for doing so. See more »


Narrator: [referring to the composite sketch] They showed that picture to the inmates of jails and prisons, to men with a wide acquaintance among the cat burglars and the violence boys. Informers and con men and sharpshooters were quizzed. Those on the fringe of crime and those deep in the rackets. Many wanted to help; nobody could. No one in the underworld recognized that mysterious face. He was as unknown as if he had lived in the 16th Century.
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References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

User Reviews

Corrected facts about "He Walked by Night"
19 June 2006 | by annwynnSee all my reviews

These comments are being submitted by Sgt. Mary Wynn's oldest son, Charles S. Wynn. I do have several additions and corrections regarding your comments about my father. The Walker case was one of several outstanding cases that was investigated by Sgt. Wynn and partners. Over the years, my brother and I would sit and listen to these stories being retold by the officers who worked the case.

Comment #1 I can never recall him being referred to as "Tough Guy." Comment #2 The movie, "He Walked by Night" was produced by the Eagle Lion Studio. My father was contacted and asked if he would give the technical direction. While doing so, he met a down-and-out actor named Jack Webb. Webb had a ten minute part as a lab technician in the movie and was not depicted as a detective. During one of their conversations, Wynn mentioned to Webb, "It's a shame they don't have a radio show that depicts the actual policeman and the work that he does." At that time, the lead detective show was "Sam Spade."

They derived the title, "He Walked by Night," to the fact that he committed most of his crimes at night. The film, itself, was not accurate. The use of the storm drains in the City of L. A. was strictly Hollywood. When Walker was captured he was located in a rented bungalow located on Argyle St. in L. A. Three officers, Donohoe, Wynn and Rombo, entered this location at 2:30 A.M. surprising Walker while he slept. A physical confrontation took place. Walker was armed with a machine gun at which time he succeeded in getting the clip into the weapon. Donohoe yelled, "Shoot him, Marty! He's got the gun!" Wynn took him down, striking him numerous times over the head with the butt of his 38 revolver. Walker, still struggling and in possession of the gun, Wynn then put the gun to Walker's back and fired twice. It was noted that when Wynn examined his gun, he had cracked the grip of the pistol. When Walker was placed in the ambulance, he asked Wynn, "Do you have any kids?" Wynn said, "Yes, I have two boys." Walker replied, "You're lucky because you came close to not seeing your kids again." At that time, he told Wynn, "they will never execute for this crime and I will live to see the day where I will kill you." In 1959, Walker succeeded in escaping from Atascadero. Three days later he was captured. Wynn was forced to strap his 38 again after two years of retirement.

If you desire any more information regard Sgt. Marty Wynn or the film, please contact me at this e-address.

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English | Spanish | Cantonese

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


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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