The Cinema Museum, London

Kennington Noir presents He Walked by Night (1948)

Thu 15 Feb 2024 @ 19:30 · Events

He Walked by Night He Walked by Night (1948), directed by Alfred L Werker and Anthony Mann, with Richard Baseheart, Scott Brady and Roy Roberts.

With masterful use of light and shadows from ace cinematographer John Alton, He Walked by Night is a visually striking film directed in a semi-documentary style, as was briefly popular at the time. Richard Basehart, in an early role, plays a loner who is well-versed in electronic technology, guns and police procedures. He’s able to stay one step ahead of the cops because his paranoia and attention to detail keep him in a constant state of alert. It’s also helpful that he listens in with his police-band radio. For a time, he confounds the Hollywood cops because he changes his methods. He begins as a break-in artist who steals electronic equipment, but when he kills a suspicious young policeman and loses some of his tools, he turns to armed robbery of liquor stores. Nobody can find him because he travels through Los Angeles in its underground storm drains. We also follow the cops as they make use of whatever little information they’re able to gather on Basehart’s character, and slowly they do close in after several missed opportunities.

From the contemporary Variety review: “Starting in high gear, the film increases in momentum until the cumulative tension explodes in a powerful crime-doesn’t pay climax. Striking effects are achieved through counterpoint of the slayer’s ingenuity in eluding the cops, and the police efficiency in bringing him to book. The high spot of the film is the final sequence which takes place in LA’s storm drainage tunnel system, where the killer tries to make his getaway”. Digital presentation.

Doors open at 18.30, for a 19.30 start.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.


Tickets £8.

Advance tickets may be purchased from Ticketlab, or direct from the Museum by calling 020 7840 2200 in office hours.
He Walked by Night