They Drive by Night Brothers Paul and Joe Fabrini run a trucking business in California mainly shipping fruit from farms to the markets in Los Angeles. They struggle to make ends meet in the face of corrupt businessmen and intense competition. They are forced into driving long hours, and one night pick up waitress Cassie Hartley who’s just quit her job at a truck stop. The three of them witness the death of a mutual acquaintance when he falls asleep at the wheel. This has a profound effect on Paul and Joe and they become determined to find a way to make the business pay so they can quit.
Enjoyable, And Hard To Classify
They Drive by Night Not much action here for a “film noir” and really more of a melodrama than a crime story, but I still like this because the story’s decent and it features a top-flight cast of actors who are usually fun to watch.
That cast includes George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart and Gale Page. My favorite of the group – in this film, at least – is Sheridan, a wise-cracking waitress. Raft and Bogart are truck drivers and Lupino plays the boss’ wife. In here, the two women are more interesting than the men, which says a lot considering its Raft and Bogart.
Sheridan not only is easy on the eyes but delivers some great film-noir-type lines. Unfortunately, the edge is taken off her once she leave the diner and hitches a ride with Raft to Los Angeles.
Bogart plays more of a low-key family man whose wife (Page) is the nice- looking, wholesome type. This is one of the last movies Bogart made before he became a star. Hence, he gets fourth billing in here.
Lupino is very good as the vicious scorned woman, a role she found herself playing in a number of films.
As mentioned above, I’m not really sure how one would classify this film since there is humor, film noir, soap opera, straight drama and romance all in it. The combination makes the film interesting and recommended.