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Based on true events, this film noir classic is a "thrilling, absorbing story, superbly told, well-acted [and] brilliantly photographed" (The Hollywood Reporter). Starring Richard Basehart, Scott Brady and Jack Webb, this "tense, exciting" (Variety) thriller was the inspiration not only for the TV series "Dragnet" but for many other subsequent "ripped from the headlines" crime dramas. Taken from actual case files, He Walked by Night is the suspenseful, action-packed tale of a manhunt for the most cunning criminal in the history of the LAPD. With a combination of ingenuity, state-of-the-art technology, sweat and sheer determination, the police painstakingly track down a brilliant, elusive thief and cop killer who seems to have the ability to vanish into thin air. But can they catch him before he murders again?
This gritty and often chilling documentary-style noir (based on a true story) about the hunt for a cop killer in Los Angeles is a must-have for fans of vintage crime films. Richard Basehart stars as a cold-blooded thief whose murder of a police officer sets off a citywide manhunt; the law, led by granite-jawed Scott Brady, tracks him relentlessly until the pair square off in the shadow-steeped drainage canals beneath the city (the same locale for the finale of Them!). Though Alfred Werker is credited as director, noir and Western vet Anthony Mann actually helmed the majority of the film; his muscular direction lends palpable suspense to the picture, aided in no small part by longtime collaborators John C. Higgins (who co-wrote the script) and cinematographer John Alton, whose Germanic-influenced lighting creates an otherworldly atmosphere. Supporting cast member Jack Webb borrowed the no-nonsense, semi-documentary approach for Dragnet. --Paul Gaita
Rather dry early police procedural. Noir for lighting and relative level of violence for its time, but no femme fatale. Basehart is perfect.Published 3 months ago by Joseph Buchanan
If you like film noir, you'll love this one. Great plot, great acting and great action. Really captures the look and feel of '50s film.Published 3 months ago by Chris P.
Of interest mainly because of a pre-Dragnet Jack Webb doing his stuff as a crime lab technician in mid 20th century Los Angeles.Published 5 months ago by James Allen Arledge
He Walked By Night is great film noir. This is a lean, no-nonsense film featuring Richard Basehart, in my opinion the most underrated actor of the 20th century. Read morePublished 5 months ago by bob p.
Watch the beginning to see why this criminal is wanted by the police.
Then fast forward to 1 hour (in the Post Office) to see the thrilling ending.
Great movie. If you like Dragnet, you will really like this movie.Published 7 months ago by John A. Borell