Monday, October 14, 2013

He Walks By Night

James Lileks said there was gun play in that 1948 movie, so, what the heck.  I watched it.  Richard Basehart, what's not to like?  A noir gun movie.  Good.  Lessee if they get the details right.

It's a police procedural, and a proto Dragnet.  "This is Los Angeles" voice over and "the names have been changed to protect the innocent" and everything. Jack Webb is in it and pretty much got the idea for his series from this movie, undoubtedly. 

It opens with a police officer getting shot. At the crime scene, some cartridge casings are found.  One problem:  the bad guy and cop both exchanged fire with revolvers.  I rewound a couple times to be sure.  Yup.  Revolvers.

And those found cartridge casings are important to solving the crime.  Oh well, so much for getting it right in 1948.

Definitely a revolver, Model 10, I'd guess.  Long barrel, prominent front sight.  They show another unrelated crook with a Luger, so that made me doubt, but I could see the front of the cylinder yoke when I rewound.

Later, the bad guy DOES have an automatic.  And when lab tech Jack Webb is comparing extractor mark similarity from different crimes, the caliber is shown as .380.  The gun in the Basehart's hand looks too big for a pocket hammerless, plus that was a prominent hammer.   Longer than a 1911, too, tho the character is a WWII signal corps veteran.  It LOOKS most like a Colt M1900.   Except in .380, somehow...  Imfdb seems convinced it was a 1911, but I'm not so sure

But later there is definitely a shot of a 1911.  And it is nothing like the longer semi that looks like a 1900.  He shoves that condition 1 1911 into his pants and checks the Model 10 in his dresser.  Later there is a shotgun fight in the LA sewers.  Oh, my ears.  The dozen cops chasing him would be stone deaf and on disability after this case. 

Nice scene in the sewers.  The battle laterns are REALLY bright.  I guess they'd have to be for some of the better shots.  Nice B&W effect.  You can see the cords from these ostensibly battery operated lights drag behind if you look closely.

Decent movie, tho.   Plenty of guns and gunplay as you'd expect from this era.  Go see it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I LOVES me some Noir!
Thanks for the recommendation.