They Drive by Night


1h 33m 1940
They Drive by Night

Brief Synopsis

Truck driving brothers are framed for murder by a lady psycho.

Photos & Videos

They Drive by Night - Movie Posters
They Drive by Night - Lobby Card Set

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Aug 3, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 27 Jul 1940
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Long Haul by Albert Isaac Bezzerides (New York, 1938).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Synopsis

Brothers Joe and Paul Fabrini eke out their living as wildcat truckers, barely keeping ahead of their creditors. Joe is stubbornly independent, determined to save enough money to establish his own trucking business, while Paul is disenchanted with life on the road and wants to settle down with his wife Pearl. Consequently, when Ed Carlsen, the big-hearted owner of the Carlsen trucking company, offers Joe a job, Joe refuses, and Paul, out of loyalty to his brother, continues his life on the road. On the night that the brothers make their final payment on the truck, an exhausted Paul falls asleep at the wheel, sending the vehicle careening over a cliff. In the accident, the truck is demolished and Paul loses his arm. Hearing the news, Ed's sarcastic, shrewish wife Lana, who is in love with Joe, convinces her husband to offer him a managerial job in the office and Joe, now the sole support of his disabled and embittered brother, accepts. Lana continues her obsessive her pursuit of Joe, but he is in love with Cassie Hartley. When he refuses Lana's brazen advances at a party, using the excuse that he will not betray his good friend Ed, Lana drives her drunken husband home, and when he is too drunk to get out of the car, she decides to leave him with the motor running. Ed is asphixiated, but his death is ruled accidental. With her husband dead, Lana offers Joe a partnership in the business, but when she discovers that Joe is planning to marry Cassie, she accuses him of driving her to commit murder. The district attorney believes Lana's story and charges Joe as an accomplice in Ed's murder. Lana is soon haunted by her crime and begins to lose control of herself. When she is called to testify at Joe's trial, she breaks down on the witness stand and rants insanely about Ed's death. Joe is then freed and returns to Cassie and the trucking company.

Photo Collections

They Drive by Night - Movie Posters
Here are a few American movie posters for They Drive by Night (1940). Pictured are the 1940 1-sheet, a re-issue 1-sheet, and an original lobby card.
They Drive by Night - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Warner Bros' They Drive by Night (1940), starring George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, and Ida Lupino. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

They Drive By Night - Stewed Pinballs With Irish (Roscoe Karns) in tow, trucker Joe (George Raft) joins ex-partner now-dependent one-armed brother Paul and wife (Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page) and girlfriend Cassie (Ann Sheridan) for dinner in They Drive By Night, 1940.
They Drive By Night - Keep The Change Second part of Ann Sheridan (as waitress "Cassie") in her first scene, helping trucking brothers Paul (Humphrey Bogart) and Joe (George Raft) duck creditor Farnsworth (Charles Halton) in Raoul Walsh's They Drive By Night, 1940.
They Drive By Night - Blow Your Horn Legend has it George Raft (as trucker "Joe") saved lives, falling back on his rum-running skills to prevent a crash, in this action scene with Humphrey Bogart ("Paul") and Ann Sheridan ("Cassie") from Raoul Walsh's They Drive By Night, 1940.
They Drive By Night - Hittin' High C In one of her several brilliant scenes, Ida Lupino (as scheming black-widow inmate "Lana") cracks up on her own, even before the visit from her victim's girlfriend Cassie (Ann Sheridan), in Raoul Walsh's They Drive By Night, 1940.
They Drive By Night - Open, Apples Warner Bros. drama in the credits and star George Raft (as "Joe") fleecing station-man Pete (Paul Hurst) in the opening to director Raoul Walsh's wildcat trucking drama They Drive By Night, 1940, with Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan and Ida Lupino.
They Drive By Night - Save The Rig Trucker Paul (Humphrey Bogart) and wife Pearl (Gale Page) are agonizing about whether to find a real job when Farnsworth (Charles Halton) and the law show up to repo their rig, in Raoul Walsh's They Drive By Night, 1940.

Trailer

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Aug 3, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 27 Jul 1940
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Long Haul by Albert Isaac Bezzerides (New York, 1938).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Articles

They Drive By Night


Raoul Walsh's action melodrama of long distance truckers follows the edge-of- the-seat travails of the Fabrini brothers Joe (George Raft) and Paul (Humphrey Bogart). These "wild catters" drive perilous roads and take enormous chances, all in the hopes of one day owning their own truck and going independent. When Joe is hired on by an ex-trucker turned entrepreneur, Ed J. Carlsen (Alan Hale), to oversee his massive trucking business, all the Fabrinis' problems appear to be over. In fact, they've only just begun. For years, Ed's wife Lana (Ida Lupino) has been carrying a torch for Joe, and Lana is not the kind of woman who takes "no" for an answer. Caught in a typical black widow double bind, Lana can't let go of Ed's substantial wealth, but can't have Joe as long as she's married to Ed. The only solution...murder, of course.

George Raft was instrumental in recommending Lupino for the part of Lana and her brilliant rendition of the jealousy-deranged, glamorous wife decked in a king's ransom of jewels and furs turned out to be her first important film role. Raft also had a hand in helping Bogart's career take off. Though Bogart played a secondary role in They Drive By Night (1940) as the hangdog married brother to Raft's savvy lady killer, that understated role would soon lead to higher profile work. Raft, who didn't want to die in another picture, passed on the starring role in Walsh's next picture, High Sierra (1941), and instead, recommended Bogart for the film -- a part that made Bogie into a major star.

As memorable for its fast-paced, realist introduction to life on the trucking circuit as it is for its later descent into murder-thriller mode, Walsh's road movie manages to combine hairpin action, crackling hardboiled dialogue and charismatic performances from Lupino, Bogart and Raft.

Raft "trained" for his career playing gangster and petty criminal roles in films like Scarface (1932) as a kid growing up on the mean streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen and then as a crime-connected hoodlum. His background as a rum-runner came in especially handy when an accident on the set of They Drive By Night required the actor to use his bootlegger driving skills to deal with failed brakes on one of the trucks being used to shoot a driving scene with Raft's on-screen love interest Ann Sheridan and Bogart on board.

The characteristic Warner Brothers realism is apparent in the early truck driving scenes which establish the Fabrini brothers' world of long distance wild-catting with its trucker camaraderie, crowded truck stop diners, grueling schedules and corrupt bosses. A loose remake of another thriller, Bordertown (1935), starring Bette Davis as the murderous wife, They Drive By Night is considered one of the best films in director Raoul Walsh's canon. Its two-fisted action and snappy dialogue is a wonderful combination of the gritty Warner Brothers "working man" film style and Walsh's own talent for crafting instinctive, suspenseful thrillers, while still demonstrating a rare sympathy for the difficulties of his working class characters.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Producer: Mark Hellinger, Hal B. Wallis (executive)
Screenplay: Jerry Wald, Richard Macauley, based on the novel 'Long Haul' by A.I. Bezzerides
Cinematography: Arthur Edeson
Editor: Thomas Richards
Art Direction: John Hughes
Music: Adolph Deutsch
Cast: George Raft (Joe Fabrini), Ann Sheridan (Cassie Hartley), Ida Lupino (Lana Carlsen), Humphrey Bogart (Paul Fabrini), Gale Page (Pearl Fabrini)
BW-96m. Close captioning.

by Felicia Feaster
They Drive By Night

They Drive By Night

Raoul Walsh's action melodrama of long distance truckers follows the edge-of- the-seat travails of the Fabrini brothers Joe (George Raft) and Paul (Humphrey Bogart). These "wild catters" drive perilous roads and take enormous chances, all in the hopes of one day owning their own truck and going independent. When Joe is hired on by an ex-trucker turned entrepreneur, Ed J. Carlsen (Alan Hale), to oversee his massive trucking business, all the Fabrinis' problems appear to be over. In fact, they've only just begun. For years, Ed's wife Lana (Ida Lupino) has been carrying a torch for Joe, and Lana is not the kind of woman who takes "no" for an answer. Caught in a typical black widow double bind, Lana can't let go of Ed's substantial wealth, but can't have Joe as long as she's married to Ed. The only solution...murder, of course. George Raft was instrumental in recommending Lupino for the part of Lana and her brilliant rendition of the jealousy-deranged, glamorous wife decked in a king's ransom of jewels and furs turned out to be her first important film role. Raft also had a hand in helping Bogart's career take off. Though Bogart played a secondary role in They Drive By Night (1940) as the hangdog married brother to Raft's savvy lady killer, that understated role would soon lead to higher profile work. Raft, who didn't want to die in another picture, passed on the starring role in Walsh's next picture, High Sierra (1941), and instead, recommended Bogart for the film -- a part that made Bogie into a major star. As memorable for its fast-paced, realist introduction to life on the trucking circuit as it is for its later descent into murder-thriller mode, Walsh's road movie manages to combine hairpin action, crackling hardboiled dialogue and charismatic performances from Lupino, Bogart and Raft. Raft "trained" for his career playing gangster and petty criminal roles in films like Scarface (1932) as a kid growing up on the mean streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen and then as a crime-connected hoodlum. His background as a rum-runner came in especially handy when an accident on the set of They Drive By Night required the actor to use his bootlegger driving skills to deal with failed brakes on one of the trucks being used to shoot a driving scene with Raft's on-screen love interest Ann Sheridan and Bogart on board. The characteristic Warner Brothers realism is apparent in the early truck driving scenes which establish the Fabrini brothers' world of long distance wild-catting with its trucker camaraderie, crowded truck stop diners, grueling schedules and corrupt bosses. A loose remake of another thriller, Bordertown (1935), starring Bette Davis as the murderous wife, They Drive By Night is considered one of the best films in director Raoul Walsh's canon. Its two-fisted action and snappy dialogue is a wonderful combination of the gritty Warner Brothers "working man" film style and Walsh's own talent for crafting instinctive, suspenseful thrillers, while still demonstrating a rare sympathy for the difficulties of his working class characters. Director: Raoul Walsh Producer: Mark Hellinger, Hal B. Wallis (executive) Screenplay: Jerry Wald, Richard Macauley, based on the novel 'Long Haul' by A.I. Bezzerides Cinematography: Arthur Edeson Editor: Thomas Richards Art Direction: John Hughes Music: Adolph Deutsch Cast: George Raft (Joe Fabrini), Ann Sheridan (Cassie Hartley), Ida Lupino (Lana Carlsen), Humphrey Bogart (Paul Fabrini), Gale Page (Pearl Fabrini) BW-96m. Close captioning. by Felicia Feaster

They Drive By Night on DVD


They Drive By Night (1940), Raoul Walsh's action melodrama of long distance truckers, follows the edge-of- the-seat travails of the Fabrini brothers Joe (George Raft) and Paul (Humphrey Bogart). These "wild catters" drive perilous roads and take enormous chances, all in the hopes of one day owning their own truck and going independent. When Joe is hired on by an ex-trucker turned entrepreneur, Ed J. Carlsen (Alan Hale), to oversee his massive trucking business, all the Fabrinis' problems appear to be over. In fact, they've only just begun. For years, Ed's wife Lana (Ida Lupino) has been carrying a torch for Joe, and Lana is not the kind of woman who takes "no" for an answer. Caught in a typical black widow double bind, Lana can't let go of Ed's substantial wealth, but can't have Joe as long as she's married to Ed. The only solution...murder, of course.

George Raft was instrumental in recommending Lupino for the part of Lana and her brilliant rendition of the jealousy-deranged, glamorous wife decked in a king's ransom of jewels and furs turned out to be her first important film role. Raft also had a hand in helping Bogart's career take off. Though Bogart played a secondary role in They Drive By Night (1940) as the hangdog married brother to Raft's savvy lady killer, that understated role would soon lead to higher profile work. Raft, who didn't want to die in another picture, passed on the starring role in Walsh's next picture, High Sierra (1941), and instead, recommended Bogart for the film -- a part that made Bogie into a major star.

As memorable for its fast-paced, realist introduction to life on the trucking circuit as it is for its later descent into murder-thriller mode, Walsh's road movie - now on DVD from Warner Video - manages to combine hairpin action, crackling hardboiled dialogue and charismatic performances from Lupino, Bogart and Raft.

Raft "trained" for his career playing gangster and petty criminal roles in films like Scarface (1932) as a kid growing up on the mean streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen and then as a crime-connected hoodlum. His background as a rum-runner came in especially handy when an accident on the set of They Drive By Night required the actor to use his bootlegger driving skills to deal with failed brakes on one of the trucks being used to shoot a driving scene with Raft's on-screen love interest Ann Sheridan and Bogart on board.

The characteristic Warner Brothers realism is apparent in the early truck driving scenes which establish the Fabrini brothers' world of long distance wild-catting with its trucker camaraderie, crowded truck stop diners, grueling schedules and corrupt bosses. A loose remake of another thriller, Bordertown (1935), starring Bette Davis as the murderous wife, They Drive By Night is considered one of the best films in director Raoul Walsh's canon. Its two-fisted action and snappy dialogue is a wonderful combination of the gritty Warner Brothers "working man" film style and Walsh's own talent for crafting instinctive, suspenseful thrillers, while still demonstrating a rare sympathy for the difficulties of his working class characters.

The Warner Video DVD release of They Drive By Night boasts a sharp, relatively clean transfer (there's some very minor film speckling at times) with nicely balanced levels of black and white. It certainly beats any previous television airing or theatrical showing of this familiar title. And it comes with a few extras that are worth your time: "Swingtime in the Movies," a Technicolor musical short with cameos by Bogart, John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, George Brent, Pat O'Brien and other Warner stars, and "Divided Highway: The Story of They Drive By Night," an original featurette created especially for this DVD.

For more information about They Drive By Night, visit Warner Video. To order They Drive By Night, go to TCM Shopping.



by Felicia Feaster

They Drive By Night on DVD

They Drive By Night (1940), Raoul Walsh's action melodrama of long distance truckers, follows the edge-of- the-seat travails of the Fabrini brothers Joe (George Raft) and Paul (Humphrey Bogart). These "wild catters" drive perilous roads and take enormous chances, all in the hopes of one day owning their own truck and going independent. When Joe is hired on by an ex-trucker turned entrepreneur, Ed J. Carlsen (Alan Hale), to oversee his massive trucking business, all the Fabrinis' problems appear to be over. In fact, they've only just begun. For years, Ed's wife Lana (Ida Lupino) has been carrying a torch for Joe, and Lana is not the kind of woman who takes "no" for an answer. Caught in a typical black widow double bind, Lana can't let go of Ed's substantial wealth, but can't have Joe as long as she's married to Ed. The only solution...murder, of course. George Raft was instrumental in recommending Lupino for the part of Lana and her brilliant rendition of the jealousy-deranged, glamorous wife decked in a king's ransom of jewels and furs turned out to be her first important film role. Raft also had a hand in helping Bogart's career take off. Though Bogart played a secondary role in They Drive By Night (1940) as the hangdog married brother to Raft's savvy lady killer, that understated role would soon lead to higher profile work. Raft, who didn't want to die in another picture, passed on the starring role in Walsh's next picture, High Sierra (1941), and instead, recommended Bogart for the film -- a part that made Bogie into a major star. As memorable for its fast-paced, realist introduction to life on the trucking circuit as it is for its later descent into murder-thriller mode, Walsh's road movie - now on DVD from Warner Video - manages to combine hairpin action, crackling hardboiled dialogue and charismatic performances from Lupino, Bogart and Raft. Raft "trained" for his career playing gangster and petty criminal roles in films like Scarface (1932) as a kid growing up on the mean streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen and then as a crime-connected hoodlum. His background as a rum-runner came in especially handy when an accident on the set of They Drive By Night required the actor to use his bootlegger driving skills to deal with failed brakes on one of the trucks being used to shoot a driving scene with Raft's on-screen love interest Ann Sheridan and Bogart on board. The characteristic Warner Brothers realism is apparent in the early truck driving scenes which establish the Fabrini brothers' world of long distance wild-catting with its trucker camaraderie, crowded truck stop diners, grueling schedules and corrupt bosses. A loose remake of another thriller, Bordertown (1935), starring Bette Davis as the murderous wife, They Drive By Night is considered one of the best films in director Raoul Walsh's canon. Its two-fisted action and snappy dialogue is a wonderful combination of the gritty Warner Brothers "working man" film style and Walsh's own talent for crafting instinctive, suspenseful thrillers, while still demonstrating a rare sympathy for the difficulties of his working class characters. The Warner Video DVD release of They Drive By Night boasts a sharp, relatively clean transfer (there's some very minor film speckling at times) with nicely balanced levels of black and white. It certainly beats any previous television airing or theatrical showing of this familiar title. And it comes with a few extras that are worth your time: "Swingtime in the Movies," a Technicolor musical short with cameos by Bogart, John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, George Brent, Pat O'Brien and other Warner stars, and "Divided Highway: The Story of They Drive By Night," an original featurette created especially for this DVD. For more information about They Drive By Night, visit Warner Video. To order They Drive By Night, go to TCM Shopping. by Felicia Feaster

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although this picture was written by different writers, portions of the film, especially the courtroom confession and events leading up to it, closely resemble aspects of the 1935 Warner Bros. film Bordertown. In 1941, George Raft, Lana Turner, and Lucille Ball starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of this story.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1940

Released in United States 1940