Rockstar Recommends: “He Walked by Night”
He Walked by Night (1948; Alfred L. Werker)
Today’s edition of Rockstar Recommends offers a great 1948 police detective noir set in Los Angeles – a film very relevant for those looking to immerse themselves in the vibe of L.A. Noire.
In “He Walked by Night”, a team of LAPD detectives conduct a massive investigation on the case to track down a cunning and dangerous cop-killing criminal. Purportedly based on the true story of the crimes and capture of Erwin “Machine-Gun” Walker, the film really focuses on the dramatic procedure and steps taken to identify and arrest the culprit (played by the hard-nosed Richard Baseheart). From examining crime scenes, to interviewing and interrogating leads, to staking out a suspect, to intense cat and mouse pursuits, to an explosive bullet-riddled raid and finale that leads to the creepy underground LA sewer system tunnels – this one’s got it all.
The cinematography by renowned lensman John Alton presents a true case study of quintessential Film Noir photography – dramatic angles, interesting lighting with the use of heavy black shadows, smoky light cast through venetian blinds, and perfect silhouettes - all adding up to a tense and dark visual experience.
Co-starring Jack Webb who is said to have been inspired during the making of this picture to create the legendary detective show Dragnet -
“He Walked by Night” is also thankfully in the public domain, so you can watch it right here in its entirety embedded courtesy of Archive.org or at http://www.archive.org/details/He_Walked_By_Night.avi.
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