7.2/10
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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:

From the Homicide Files of the Los Angeles Police. 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

Part of the film was directed (uncredited) by Anthony Mann. See more »

Goofs

When Roy Martin confronts Reeves in Reeves' bedroom, Martin's shadow changes position depending upon whether the shot is from behind Reeves or from a closer position. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Soufferance: A Memory Of Past Emotions (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Definitely the progenitor of Dragnet
11 March 2001 | by NozzSee all my reviews

As related on http://www.adam-12.com/webb.htm ...

  • quote -


In 1949, Jack landed the role of Lt. Lee Jones in the film

"He walked by Night." After meeting LAPD Sgt. Marty Wynn,

a technical advisor for the show, Jack got the idea to develop

Dragnet after being invited to review LAPD case files.

  • end quote -


Several elements associated with _Dragnet_ appear already in _He Walked_: not only the stolid narration but also the devotion of time to routine and even futile work, the interviewing of oddballs, the explication of technology, and the incidental chit-chat about the family.

One interesting point is that we never get to find out the killer's motive: even at the expense of the audience's aesthetic satisfaction, the killer's point of view is denied to us. The only lessons we can learn from the movie are the lessons that the police learn.


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