He Walked by Night ★★★★

Soggy, narrative-driven police procedural turns into a gripping thriller, inspires Jack Webb to make Dragnet. Two scenes set this film apart — the chase through the LA storm drains and a cringeworthy segment where Richard Basehart digs a bullet out of his side. The film’s overbearing silence (there’s largely no score) contributes to the tension as does the steady and stoic camera that makes a study of the face of a murderer. If you didn’t know John Alton’s name before this film, you certainly learned a thing or two about light and shadow. A clinic.