Re: RARA-AVIS: Procedurals continued

Date: 02 Jan 2003


Re your comment below:

> Certainly the movie Webb worked on and met the
> technical advisors was a
> greater influence. I've read the excellent book on
> "Dragnet" and talked to
> the writer at our old time radio club here in DC.
> Nothing influences the
> future like a big money hit. "He Walks By Night"
> was well received by
> critics but "The Naked City" was a mega-hit in 1948.
> In that same year,
> another major movie success was "Call Northside 777"
> starring Jimmy Stewart
> that featured a similar semi-documentary style. So
> granted the greater
> impact on Webb of "Night" I think the popularity of
> this style of
> story-telling as demonstrated by the big hits had to
> be an influence on the
> overall entertainment industry as well as to some
> extent on Webb.

Absolutely right! In fact, the proliferation of
"semi-documentary" cop films is another example of the tendency to meticulously research police work before turning out cop fiction (in any medium) that seemed to germinate in the '40s.

And I think the success of big-studio films like HOUSE ON 92ND STREET, THE STREET WITH NO NAME, BOOMERANG, and, of course, THE NAKED CITY, is probably what inspired a smaller studio like Eagle-Lion to turn out lower-budgeted but still excellent examples of the form, such as T-MEN, THE PORT OF NEW YORK, and, of course, HE WALKED BY NIGHT. Which, in turn, means that this whole trend in film, and not just HE WALKED BY NIGHT, influenced Webb, directly or indirectly.


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