IA #69: He Walked by Night (1948)

 He Walked by Night (1948) on IMDb

This semi-documentary police procedural film noir was the inspiration for the long-running TV series Dragnet. He Walked by Night stars Richard Basehart as a loner wanted for killing a patrolman. The narrated grind of police work, complete with small talk and interviews with oddballs, would prove to be an excellent match to the small screen.

Jack Webb, who played a a forensics specialist in the movie, struck up a friendship with the police technical advisor, who later became Dragnet’s technical advisor. Leonard Maltin gave the film 3 (of 4) stars, and it walks on its own two feet into the Internet Archive Top 100.