He Walked By Night

A cunning and intelligent cold-blooded killer evades a massive police investigation in this true-life drama.
5.6K ratings
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 6158D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 20 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: July 15, 2003
  • Originally Released: 1948
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , &
Performer: , &
Directed by
Screenplay by &
Composition by
Story by
Produced by &
Director of Photography:

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 7


User Ratings: 456
Rating: A -- Stylishly presented. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Apr 30, 2004
This is one of my favorite films noir, made on the cheap at Eagle-Lion Films. Full Review
Combustible Celluloid
Jun 5, 2009
Rating: 9/10 -- One of the most nasty-minded, brutal dramas in a genre noted for - practically defined by - its overwhelming nihilism. Full Review
Antagony & Ecstasy
Feb 9, 2009
Producer Bryan Foy, using the crisp documentary way of telling a true story, gives his characters an easy treatment, and leavens his action with economic touch of humor. Full Review
Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Apr 4, 2019
The credits indicate Alfred L. Werker only, but this thriller is of a piece with the noir circle of T-Men and Raw Deal, courtesy of an uncredited Anthony Mann.
Slant Magazine
May 1, 2006
...Memorable....Engrossing... -- Rating: B+
Entertainment Weekly
Nov 15, 1996
A visual high point of film noir. Full Review
Classic Film and Television
Aug 9, 2007

Description by OLDIES.com:

Based on one of the most notorious, unsolved cases in Los Angeles' police history, He Walked by Night stars Richard Basehart as the intelligent and cunning criminal who kills a cop, steals electronic equipment and robs liquor stores without leaving a clue. The Police Department persists in their search for him, systematically using the latest scientific methods of detection. The culprit is finally identified, leading to a frenetic pursuit through the massive drainage system beneath the streets of L.A. The documentary-like style and no-nonsense tone of He Walked by Night would serve as a blueprint for actor/director Jack Webb's "Dragnet." Webb, who portrays a crime lab investigator, bonded offscreen with Sgt. Marty Wynn, a technical advisor on the film and was subsequently invited to review L.A.P.D. case files. In 1949, "Dragnet" would debut on radio and would soon be followed by the successful and popular TV series.

Product Description:

A burglar becomes a cold-blooded cop killer and is hunted down on the streets of Los Angeles. The men in blue manage to track their suspect down into the bowels of the city--the labyrinth sewer system. Noir veteran Anthony Mann, though uncredited, co-directed the film. Well-done and supposedly an inspiration for Jack Webb's Dragnet TV series.


Production Notes:

  • This police thriller was the inspiration for cast member Jack Webb's classic TV show "Dragnet." The film even includes this famous line: "The names have been changed to protect the innocent."
This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
Based on 5662 ratings.
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Worth watching Movie Lover: from MIDDLE VILLAGE, NY US -- September, 14, 2010

This film is well worth spending the time with. Richard Basehart is very good as the cold-blooded killer and it's sun seeing a young Jack Webn with the L.A.P.D. and not playing Joe Friday. There's only 2 negative thoughts about the movie: the overl melodramtic voice of the narrator and the failure to explain why Basehart's character becomes a thief and killer. Otherwise, sit back & enjoy.

He Walked By Night Movie Lover: from Chalfont, PA US -- March, 15, 2008

What a great vintage move. To see such a young Jack Webb is priceless. A wonderful actor in his own right, Whit Bissell, is also very good in his roll as a very nervous business owner. Richard Basehart was excellent in his role as the cold-blooded killer of an LAPD officer. A movie worth adding to any collection!

Boffo Basehart Movie Lover: from Trumbull, CT US -- September, 26, 2003

An enjoyable film on many levels. Richard Basehart spent so much time in the role of Admiral Nelson in TV's "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", few people realize the range of his acting abilities or the depth of his performances. He plays a socio-psychopath to the hilt in this documentary-style police hunt. The modd of the film is constantly dark and brooding.
The script is a little thin in spots, some of the scenes could have been zipped up a bit and the acting is a bit lame in spots, but the story is strong enough to overcome these issues. Jack Webb plays the police lab guy far more casually than he would later play Joe Friday ("Dragnet") or tough drill TSgt Jim Moore("The D.I.").
It's also a great snapshot of the late 1940's: dress, attitudes, language, etc., as well as Hollywood's impression of reality. This film is well worth your time and money
(Unsolicited Testimonial: The Alpha catalog offers many fine films on DVD, and you can't beat the prices!)

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 45,826
  • UPC: 089218615893
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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