Raoul WalshUSA95 minutes1940B&WEnglish
Part proletarian drama, part noir thriller and all fabulous, They Drive by Night made Ida Lupino into a star with her delicious bad-girl performance. George Raft stars as Joe, a hard-working trucker struggling to stay afloat as an independent operator in a cutthroat business. Long-hauling overnight with his brother (Humphrey Bogart), Joe gives a lift to Cassie (Ann Sheridan), a waitress from the local diner who's splitting for L.A. after the owner's hands became too familiar. Joe falls for the tough-minded Cassie, which doesn't sit well with Lana (Lupino), the wife of an old friend of Joe's who has become a trucking magnate. Disgusted with her older, boozy husband, Lana has her eyes (and lips, when she can) on Joe as a ready replacement; when he rebuffs her advances, her frustrated desire pushes her towards a deadly solution. In the courtroom finale, Lupino pulls out all the stops as Lana disintegrates on the witness stand, a scene that inspired The New York Times' Bosley Crowther to admiringly observe that "Miss Lupino goes crazy about as well as it can be done."