He Walked by Night

Watch He Walked by Night

"Savage TRUTH! Stronger than Fiction!"
  • Approved
  • 1948
  • 1 hr 19 min
  • 7.1  (6,510)

He Walked by Night is a 1948 black and white film noir directed by Alfred L. Werker, and was co-written and narrated by Anthony Mann. The movie stars Richard Basehart as Roy Martin, a former soldier-turned-criminal who goes on a ruthless killing spree in Los Angeles. Roy is a man with some serious skills such as electronics and tunneling which he uses to commit his crimes. The supporting cast includes Scott Brady as Sgt. Marty Brennan, a police officer, and Roy Roberts as Police Captain Breen.

The opening scene of the movie shows a police officer, hunting down a suspect in the night marred by the intense fog. The suspect is Roy Martin who manages to escape leaving breadcrumbs for the police. Still, the case begins to unravel as the police discover that Roy Martin is a former soldier who has turned to a life of crime having honed his military skills to assist him in carrying out his criminal activities. The police start piecing together the investigative process, profiling the perpetrator, following clues, and hunting him down as he continues to elude them.

Richard Basehart delivers a chilling performance as the cold-blooded Roy Martin. He portrays a ruthless personality and is not afraid to use his intelligence and resourcefulness to outsmart the law enforcement. He is an excellent electronic engineer and proficient in tunneling, which makes it extremely difficult for the police to apprehend him. The story is inspired by the real-life case of infamous murderer, Erwin Walker, and the film captures the anarchic reign of Walker's real-life counterpart in Los Angeles.

In addition to Basehart's incredible portrayal, the other actors also deliver fine performances. Scott Brady stars as Sgt. Marty Brennan, a police officer who is determined to catch Roy Martin. Brennan pursues Martin relentlessly, and the film portrays his personal struggle with a vendetta against Martin resulting from the killing of his partner during a robbery. Roy Roberts stars in the film as Captain Breen, Brennan's commanding officer, and the character who oversaw the investigation. Roberts' portrayal of Breen is a blend of business-like prioritization and a strong sense of duty.

Overall, the film is an excellent example of film noir. It is shot in black and white, and Alfred L. Werker's direction perfectly captures the atmosphere of the era. Werker's direction, combined with John Alton's stunning cinematography, elevates the film to an iconic status. The use of shadows, the lighting effects, and the atmospheric music all contribute to the creation of a suspenseful and eerie sensation throughout.

The plot is simple, yet the details are intricate. The story is masterfully constructed, with sufficient plot twists and turns to keep the audience guessing. The script is well written, and the narrator's role is not intrusive, but instead aids in delivering the plot points at pivotal moments.

The film is a great representation of the genre and is loaded with enthralling action sequences, fantastic noir elements, and suspenseful moments. It might seem slow-paced in the beginning, but it builds up the tension to a thrilling climax. The characters are well-written, the acting is top-notch, and the film's technical aspects are captivating. To conclude, the movie is a must-watch for anyone interested in the film noir genre.

He Walked by Night is a 1948 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 19 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.

He Walked by Night
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 19 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (6,510)