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They Drive by Night (1940)

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No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: Jan 1, 1940 Wide

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 2,311

My Rating

Movie Info

They just don't make 'em like They Drive By Night anymore. This slam-bang Warner Bros. attraction stars George Raft and Humphrey Bogart as Joe and Paul Fabrini, owners of a small but scrappy trucking firm. The film deftly combines comedy with thrills for the first half-hour or so, as the Fabrini boys battle crooked distributors and unscrupulous rivals while establishing their transport company. Things take a potentially tragic turn when the overworked Paul Fabrini falls asleep at the wheel and

Unrated,

Drama, Classics

Jerry Wald

Nov 4, 2003

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (1) | DVD (10)

Ripping view of toilers and hustlers still half-stuck in the Depression

June 16, 2014 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Performances are fine, with a bonus in the endearing corny wisecracking and dialogue of a type that cinema has now abandoned in favor of visual effects.

September 3, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Riveting mix of working man film and crime drama, inventively directed by Raoul Walsh.

July 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Walsh keeps the film close to the ground and makes the transition between the two very different stories with complete confidence.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Sem se decidir se quer ser um drama sobre a difícil vida dos caminhoneiros ou um frágil e artificial filme de tribunal, este trabalho de Walsh desperdiça Raft, Bogie e Sheridan, além de contar com uma atuação pavorosamente ruim de Lupino.

April 3, 2008 | Comment (1)
Cinema em Cena

Raoul Walsh directs this entertaining romantic melodrama with tenderness.

November 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The film's U-turn is so radical that it arguably transforms They Drive By Night into one of the U.S. cinema's earliest experiments in portmanteau

February 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

A forgotten gem.

January 5, 2004 Full Review

There's no denying that this overlooked 1940 gem is essentially two films in one.

November 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for They Drive by Night

I don't know why there was a fascination with truck drivers in the 40s, but the movies about them always turned out great. This movie is no exception, and it has a great cast.
September 29, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

a wonderful film. raft and bogart make a solid team and the subject matter is one that most people would never think could make a solid drama. the script is the strength of the film and the acting was superb. The film has layers to it that have to be peeled back to be appreciated.
July 12, 2010
sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

a neglected classic directed by raoul walsh (who also handled the ultimate james cagney gangster classic "white heat"), a star-studded flicks with good wisecrackers from its appealing cast. it's a story about a pair of trucker brothers(raft and bogart) who take the risk of having everything expropriated by the scrivener just to strive for the chances to rise high...then with a twist, everyone seems to obtain what he/she desires at the first place except the dame (lupino) who has an intense crush on george raft's character, consequent with murder, un-requited love and heart-twenching insanity.

the first issue with this movie is that it's departed into two gendres of storylines which have been re-blended into one piece: social drama and meldromatic noir. it could be deemed as one flick before humprey bogart's crippling accident. a quaint social drama which discusses the bloody grimness about the prole trucking business, the labour and sweat from the working men, also emblemished with the pleasant romance between raft and ann sheridan, particularly their witty flirtation about "red means stop"...and sheridan utters her quick wits as the dainty waitress whom the customers drool over. lack of his usual mystic aura, bogart still gives a nice performance of a tough trucker even it's not quite riveting, and raft is quite in the right niche of his ambitiously clever truck leader with charisma. the three of them all inspire audience's empathetic approval of their hardship and occupational dignity..a peacefully cozy scenarios with likable characters that shelter you in an easefully relaxed atmosphere....

it all works harmoniously until the emergence of the sharp-tongued spunky ida lupino takes the spotlight from everyone who turns out to be lackluster compared to lupino's deliriously edgy performance as the love-struck rich wife who desperately craves for raft then disposes of her own husband to facilliate herself to court him, eventually ends up in a straitjacket. no one could ignore her running-amok scene in the court room that sets her overnight reputation. this twist transforms the whole flick into a semi-film-noir which is quite uneven. besides it's dealt with thick melodramaticity..(accordingly it was recycled from the plotline of bettie davis' "border town" with paul muni from warner bros.....) but the arrangement of lupino's doom is a bit too coincidental just to deliberately grant audience a crowd-pleasing happy ending.

sketchily "they drive by night" is a well-acted movie which is a bit un-usual and deserves more credits and applauds toward today. and it has enough social topicality and flamy dramatization to keep your interests throughout the whole flick. it's worthy taking a view in holiday just to shift into a congenial mood.
November 10, 2007
dietmountaindew
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

ida owns this
March 30, 2007
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • They Drive by Night (1940) (DE)
  • They Drive by Night (1940) (UK)
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