He Walked by Night

( 1 )

Overview

The night-walking "He" of the title is Richard Basehart, a clever but psychopathic burglar based on real-life criminal Erwin Walker. Basehart stays one step ahead of the law by listening in to the police band on his radio. To avoid detection, he changes his M.O. on each crime, making it seem that the string of burglaries is the work of several thieves. But Basehart trips himself up when he kills a cop. His own personal Waterloo occurs in the Los Angeles sewer system -- a stylish predecessor to the similar and ...
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Overview

The night-walking "He" of the title is Richard Basehart, a clever but psychopathic burglar based on real-life criminal Erwin Walker. Basehart stays one step ahead of the law by listening in to the police band on his radio. To avoid detection, he changes his M.O. on each crime, making it seem that the string of burglaries is the work of several thieves. But Basehart trips himself up when he kills a cop. His own personal Waterloo occurs in the Los Angeles sewer system -- a stylish predecessor to the similar and more widely praised climax in Sir Carol Reed's The Third Man. Though the direction is credited to Hollywood old-timer Alfred Werker, most of He Walked By Night is the handiwork of an uncredited Anthony Mann. Featured in the film's cast is Jack Webb in the small role of a police lab technician. Impressed by first-hand experience with police procedure and by the semi-documentary quality of He Walked By Night Webb expanded on these elements for his own radio and TV project, Dragnet.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Based on a true story, He Walked By Night (1948) transcends its B-movie origins through a combination of crime-fighting realism and starkly stylish film noir visuals. Directed by Alfred L. Werker and an uncredited Anthony Mann for Poverty Row studio Eagle-Lion, the documentary-style voiceover narration and emphasis on Los Angeles police procedure, especially by Jack Webb's evidence expert, tautly builds suspense from the real-life (and then-newfangled) tools of police investigation, rather than from excessive heroics or emotionality. Cinematographer John Alton's deep focus shots, chiaroscuro nocturnal lighting, and oblique camera angles match the inner menace of Richard Basehart's intelligent and unbalanced cop killer, and they help orchestrate a climactic chase through the Los Angeles storm drain system that rivals the sewer sequence in The Third Man (1949). Part of a wave of 1940s semi-documentary crime movies that included progenitor The House on 92nd Street (1945), Kiss of Death (1947), and Elia Kazan's Boomerang! (1947), He Walked By Night inspired Webb to create his "just the facts, ma'am" Dragnet series on radio and TV.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2003
  • UPC: 089218615893
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 39,389

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Basehart Davis Morgan
Scott Brady Sgt. Marty Brennan
Roy Roberts Capt. Breen
Whit Bissell Reeves
James B. Cardwell Chuck Jones
Tommy Kelly
Bernard Suss Business Suspect
Kay Garrett Doctor
Earl Spainard Kelly
Jack Webb Lee
Reed Hadley Voice Only
John McGuire Rawlins
Lyle Latell Sergeant
Jack Bailey Pajama Top
Michael Dugan Patrolman
Garrett Craig Patrolman
Bert Moorhouse Detective
Gaylord "Steve" Pendleton Detective
Robert B. Williams Detective
Carlotta Monti Woman
George Chan Chinese Suspect
George Goodman Fighter Suspect
Louise Kane Mrs. Rawlins
Florence Stephens Receptionist
Tom Browne Henry Dunning
Virginia Hunter Miss Smith
Ruth Robinson Mrs. Rapport
John Parrish Vitale
Alma Beltran Miss Montalvo
Anthony Jochim Thompson
Jane Adams Nurse Scanlon
John Dehner Asst. Chief
Byron Foulger Avery
Felice Ingersoll Record Clerk
Wally Vernon Postman
Dorothy Adams Housewife
Donald Kerr Mailman
Charles Lang Policeman
Mary Ware Delores
Ann Doran Woman Dispatcher
Harlan Warde C.B. Officer
Kenneth Tobey Detective
Frank Cady Suspect
Paul Scardon Father
Jim Nolan Detective
Charles Meredith Desk Sergeant
Tim Graham Uniformed Sergeant
Rory Mallinson Detective
Billy Mauch Young Man
John Perri Young Man
Rex Downing Young Man
Stan Johnson Artist
Harry Harvey Detective Prouty
Paul Fierro Mexican Detective
Technical Credits
Alfred L. Werker Director
John Alton Cinematographer
Alfred de Gaetano Editor
Harry J. Essex Screenwriter
Bryan Foy Producer
Irving Friedman Musical Direction/Supervision
John C. Higgins Screenwriter
Edward Ilou Art Director
Robert Kane Producer
Howard W. Koch Asst. Director
Armor E. Marlowe Set Decoration/Design
Beck Murray Screenwriter
Leonid Raab Score Composer
Jack R. Rabin Special Effects
Clarence I. Steensen Set Decoration/Design
Joe Stinton Makeup
George J. Teague Special Effects
Ern Westmore Makeup
Crane Wilbur Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

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