They Drive by Night (1940)

93 mins | Drama | 3 August 1940

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Cinematographer:

Arthur Edeson

Editor:

Thomas Richards

Production Designer:

John Hughes

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

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 (see above). In 1941, George Raft, Lana Turner, and Lucille Ball starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of this ... More Less

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 (see above). In 1941, George Raft, Lana Turner, and Lucille Ball starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of this story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Jul 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Jul 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 40
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Jul 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Jul 40
pp. 24-26.
New York Times
27 Jul 40
p. 17.
Variety
10 Jul 40
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture; Jack L. Warner in charge of prod
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Long Haul by Albert Isaac Bezzerides (New York, 1938).
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 August 1940
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 27 July 1940
Production Date:
began late April 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 August 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9821
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6278
Passed by NBR:
No
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 ... +


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. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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