This is a classic movie directed by Alfred L. Werker, with Crane Wilbur as the writer and also responsible for the screenplay. Some of the main actors include Richard Basehart, Roy Roberts, and Scott Brady, among others. The movie goes by the title “He Walked by Night”, and was released in 1948 as a crime thriller done in a semi documentary style. The music or main soundtrack to the movie is by Leonid Raab.
Officer Hollis is shot by an individual he suspects to be a burglar, Hollis who is a patrolman was on his way home during this incidence. Two detectives Chuck Jones (Cardwell) and Marty Brennan (Brady) are assigned to find the suspect, Roy Morgan (Basehart). Roy Morgan is a brilliant criminal who spends his life with his dog while listening to police radio communications in order to avoid attempt. While trying to sell stolen electronics, the two detectives get wind of Roy’s activities and lay a trap, where a shootout ensues. Roy, during the shootout, paralyzes Jones while Jones, on the other hand hurts Roy. With fear of being caught upon going to a hospital because of the gunshot wound, Roy performs surgery on himself. In a swift change of events, Roy changes his method of operation and starts committing armed robbery. However, during one of his robberies in a bank he fires his pistol, which the police manage to recover the casings. The casings are matched to the weapon used in assaulting officer Hollis and shooting of Detective Jones thus all the three crimes are tied together to a single suspect. The police assemble all the victims of Roy’s crimes and come up with a sketch of his face, upon this stage, Reeves identifies Roy from the composite that the police came up with after sketching. After intimidating Reeves, Roy gets insider information without the knowledge of the other detectives thus the investigation makes little progress. Brennan then does a follow up on the composite photograph which leads him to realize that Roy, at one time, worked as a civilian radio dispatcher for the police then later joined the army. Brennan uses the post office mail carriers to track down Roy’s location, and while disguised as a milkman, Brennan gets closer to Roy and, therefore, identifies Roy. Roy escapes from a police raid through the Los Angels sewerage after his dog’s barking alerts him of a police raid. There is a continued shootout where it ends with Roy being killed by the police while escaping tear gas launched into the sewers by the police.
The acting is superb, and the actors have catchy dialogues that are thought provoking and engage the audience. The black and white movie makes the movie even more fascinating and chilling. In addition to this, the narrator helps the audience understand the movie better than most movies of that time.