|Alan Hale, Ida Lupino, and George Raft in They Drive By Night|
George Raft and Humphrey Bogart play brothers and independent truck drivers. It’s tough going for the two, battling against the big trucking companies, but somehow they always come through. Along the way they meet waitress Ann Sheridan and Ida Lupino, the latter bent on a romance with Raft in spite of the fact he’s in love with Sheridan. The film did wonders for Lupino’s career with audiences supposedly clapping during her courtroom scenes. After this film, she was one of the biggest stars on the Warner Bros. lot.
|Raft, Ann Sheridan, and Humphrey Bogart|
It would take High Sierra (1941)—screening March 11—to make Bogart a star. Raft turned down the role of Roy “Mad Dog” Earle because he was tired of playing bad guys. Bogart thought the part could move him from playing second leads to major star status. He was right and after High Sierra, Bogart never received second billing ever again.
Lupino came to Hollywood in 1933 under contract to Paramount. She was dubbed “the English Jean Harlow.” When she came to the states, she was a bleached blond with thinly tweezed eyebrows, which was a typical look during the early 1930s. After receiving good notices for her role in The Light That Failed (1939), on loan-out to Columbia, Lupino got noticed by Mark Hellinger at Warner Bros. Her role in They Drive By Night resulted in Lupino being signed by the studio to a long-term contract, becoming one of their fastest rising stars.
Raft and Sheridan were established stars at Warner Bros. with Sheridan being dubbed “The Oomph Girl.” Raft was part of Warner’s Bros. “Murderers Row” that also included other movie tough guys James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. Both had long successful careers in film.
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