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A (Black) Gat in the Hand: All Through the Night (Bogart)

Monday, June 29th, 2020 | Posted by Bob Byrne

Bogart_NightVeidtPoster“You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.” – Phillip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep

(Gat — Prohibition Era term for a gun. Shortened version of Gatling Gun)

Today it’s a look at All Through the Night – one of my five favorite Bogie films, but not one that makes too many Top 10 lists. In 1940, Bogart’s career really started its climb, with They Drive By Night (Ida Lupino was fantastic!) followed by High Sierra (same comment). The forgettable The Wagons Roll at Night was up next, and then it was The Maltese Falcon. That was three very good movies out of four. And after The Falcon was All Through the Night. I think it kept his streak going, but that’s not the general perception.

Picking Iron (Trivia) – Lupino and Bogart had not gotten along well during They Drive By Night, and she didn’t want to work with him any more (though she did in High Sierra). He was originally cast as the lead in Out of the Fog, but she balked and he was replaced by John Garfield. Bogart complained to Harry Warner about Lupino’s action, to no avail. Much later, Lupino and Bogart said they got along fine.

In 1941, Hollywood was starting the transition from gangster flicks to war movies. One approach was to have the gangsters fight the new bad guys. And this movie is a gangster/espionage comedy. I think it’s great. This essay takes a different approach to movie reviews, taking advantage of the excellent cast.

Humphrey Bogart

The Maltese Falcon was a rocket strapped to Bogart’s career, after a long run of B-movie leads, and being the crook gunned down by James Cagney or Edward G. Robinson. In this one, he’s Gloves Donahue, a self-titled promoter who is a mobster in New York City. He seems to primarily be a gambler. When the baker of his favorite cheesecakes is found murdered, it leads Donahue to a group of Nazis plotting to blow up a ship in the NYC harbor.

Bogart is a likable tough guy – not like his role in Dead End, Bullets or Ballots (one of my Top 10), or The Roaring Twenties. Circumstances make it appear he murdered a rival, and he’s working to solve the murder, which draws him deeper and deeper into the Nazi plot. I think he plays the part well.

Conrad Veidt

We would see Veidt a few years later as Major Strasser in Casablanca. Here he is Ebbing, leader of a Nazi spy ring in NYC. He’s smooth and snake-like. I enjoy the scene where he is an auctioneer and Donahue is bidding. It’s the typical role for the situation: respectable on the surface, conniving Nazi underneath.

Picking Iron – In Casablanca, Rick advises Strasser that there were certain parts of NYC that he wouldn’t recommend invading. That’s an in-joke to this movie.

Picking Iron– Veidt fled Germany with his Jewish wife. In Hollywood, he refused to play a part in which a Nazi was sympathetic.

Bogart_NightVeerneKaaren Verne

The German Verne also fled from the Nazis, with her husband. She met Peter Lorre during the filming of this movie, and she divorced her husband to marry him. She put her career on hold for the stormy marriage, with suicide attempts, and they divorced in seven years. The window of opportunity had passed. She died suddenly, and mysteriously, in 1967. She had the female lead opposite Basil Rathbone in Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon.

She’s Leda Hamilton and she visits Miller’s bakery while Donahue is there and flees when she finds out he’s dead. Donahue finds out that she is a singer in Barton MacLane’s nightclub and tracks her down there. Peter Lorre, who we saw kill Miller in a fine menacing performance, is her tuxedo-clad piano player. Verne seems to be with the Nazis, but you know how that will go.

I’m not much of a Verne fan. I don’t think she does much as the lead. Other than the Holmes film, I’ve never watched her in anything else.

Frank McHugh

With 173 credited parts, McHugh was a classic character actor – and his character often provided comic relief. He plays Barney, Gloves’ driver. He’s crazy about Jean Ames, named Annabelle. He constantly wants to spend time with her, and even marries her, but Donahue always needs him for work. McHugh is funny and always livens up his scenes. He’s got some good lines, too. He provided almost all of the comedy in Bullets or Ballots.

Peter Lorre

Lorre really is great in his first scene, collecting spy information from Miller at his bakery. He goes from amiable to lethal and it’s a treat to watch. He kills Joe (Edward Brophy) more-or-less the head bouncer at the night club, and spends the rest of the movie as Ebbing’s henchman. His role wanes over the course of the movie, but he is well cast as Pepi.

William Demarest

Best known as Uncle Charlie in My Three Sons, he is Donahue’s right-hand man. He is in a lot of scenes and has a major part. He’s a tough guy who makes a lot of wise-cracks. His double-talk in the secret meeting is amusing. He does a pretty good job in this movie.

Bogart_NightGang2Jackie Gleason

Only 26, he plays gang member Starchy. Earlier in the year, he had appeared a very young-looking soda jerk in Edward G. Robinson’s Larceny, Inc (A Night Before Christmas). He gets a few scenes, including some war double talk in the opening scene.

Phil Silvers

Silvers plays a near-sighted waiter at Donahue’s favorite restaurant. He’s got the funny role in the opening scene, but doesn’t have much of a part after that.

Barton MacLane

My favorite supporting actor in Warners’ gangster flicks. He plays Marty Callahan, and he runs the club that Leda sings at. He also has a gang and is in competition with Donahue. His exasperation as Donahue’s mother hassles him in the club is funny. MacLane is always good in anything he does, and he plays his part well, joining forces with Donahue to take on the Nazis at the end.

Edward Brophy

Another actor who appeared in a LOT of films, he often got bigger parts than some of the other supporting actors from the gangster era. I think he would have made a fantastic Uncle Fester in the Addams Family.

He plays Joe, Callahan’s primary muscle. He tries to intimidate Donahue but ends up the fool. Pepi kills him in the back of the club, setting things in motion. I like Brophy.

Jane Darwell

Playing Donahue’s mother, she appeared in some big films, including Mary Poppins, The Grapes of Wrath, and Gone With The Wind. She is a busybody who Donahue tries to appease. The gang complains about her constantly messing up their activities by calling Donahue. He has to tell her to let the widow Miller answer for herself because she keeps taking over the conversation.

Bogart_NightMillerLudwig Stossell

Miller the baker is prominent at film’s start, but makes an early exit. He lends a hand in one last appearance. He had a short but memorable scene in Casablanca. He was part of the couple that were friends with Karl the waiter, and heading to America. He appeared (briefly) in Larceny, Inc., with Gleason, Brophy, Jean Ames (Annabelle), and Chester Clute (Hotel Clerk)

Picking Iron – Chester Clute appeared in an unbelievable twenty-two movies in 1942.

William Hopper

Hopper has an uncredited appearance as a reporter. He’s not even noticeable. But I thought him worth mentioning because he went on to play Paul Drake to Raymond Burr’s Perry Mason.

That is one deep cast!

There’s plenty of action, shootouts, comedy, spy stuff, the big roundup, and the final espionage attack. This is a heck of a movie.

This movie is one spot above the fantastic Treasure of the Sierra Madre for me (and I think that’s a terrific film). It deserves more recognition than it gets. It seems to have gotten lost between The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, which came out later in the same year as All Through the Night.

Prior posts in A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2020 Series (7)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hardboiled May on TCM
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Some Hardboiled streaming options
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Johnny O’Clock (Dick Powell)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hardboiled June on TCM
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Bullets or Ballots (Humphrey Bogart)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Phililp Marlowe – Private Eye (Powers Boothe)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Cool and Lam

Bogart_NightBigPosterA (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2019 Series (15)
Back Deck Pulp Returns
A (Black) Gat in the Hand Returns
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Will Murray on Doc Savage
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hugh B. Cave’s Peter Kane
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Paul Bishop on Lance Spearman
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: A Man Called Spade
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hard Boiled Holmes
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Duane Spurlock on T.T. Flynn
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Andrew Salmon on Montreal Noir
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Frank Schildiner on The Bad Guys of Pulp
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Steve Scott on John D. MacDonald’s ‘Park Falkner’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Patrick Murray on The Spider
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: John D. MacDonald & Mickey Spillane
A (Black Gat in the Hand: Norbert Davis goes West(ern)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Bill Crider on The Brass Cupcake

A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2018 Series (31)
With a (Black) Gat: George Harmon Coxe
With a (Black) Gat: Raoul Whitfield
With a (Black) Gat: Some Hard Boiled Anthologies
With a (Black) Gat: Frederick Nebel’s Donahue
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Walsh
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – January, 1935
A (Black) Gat in the hand: Norbert Davis’ Ben Shaley
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: D.L. Champion’s Rex Sackler
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Dime Detective – August, 1939
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #1
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: W.T. Ballard’s Bill Lennox
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Day Keene
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – October, 1933
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #2
Bogart_NightLorreA (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – Spring, 2017
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Frank Schildiner’s ‘Max Allen Collins & The Hard Boiled Hero’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Campbell Gault
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: More Cool & Lam From Hard Case Crime
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: MORE Cool & Lam!!!!
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Parker’s ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part One)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part Two)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Patrick Maynard’s ‘The Yellow Peril’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Andrew P Salmon’s ‘Frederick C. Davis’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Rory Gallagher’s ‘Continental Op’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #3
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #4
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #5
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe ‘Cap’ Shaw on Writing
A (Black) Gat in Hand: Back Deck Pulp #6
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: The Black Mask Dinner


Bob_Houston_HatCroppedBob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ was a regular Monday morning hardboiled pulp column from May through December, 2018 and again from August through December, 2019. It returned in June, 2020.

His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate  from March, 2014 through March, 2017 (still making an occasional return appearance!).

He organized ‘Hither Came Conan,’ as well as Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series.

He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded www.SolarPons.com (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IV,  V, VI and XXI.

3 Comments »

  1. A rewatch of The Caine Mutiny over the weekend pushed that movie back into third place on my Bogart list. All Through the NIght is fourth. I enjoy it that much.

    Comment by Bob Byrne - June 29, 2020 1:56 pm

  2. I always enjoy Barton MacLane. (George Tobias too, though he isn’t in this one.) I sometimes think that if I could keep the films of only one studio, I would have to go with Warners, largely because of their great stable of character actors. (Also, I just can’t live without Bette Davis.)

    It’s not the most lighthearted, enjoyable movie in the the world, but I think Bogart gave his best performance in In a Lonely Place. People who think the great stars of the the studio era weren’t great actors are nuts.

    Comment by Thomas Parker - June 29, 2020 2:14 pm

  3. I always stop and watch MacLane. Even Torchy Blane, where they turned Frederick Nebel’s character into a woman (and made the main character a supporting one).

    I just watched Davis’ in Three on A Match, and The Petrified Forest, as part of my Bogart run. I admit, I’m not a huge fan of hers. Those bug eyes weird me out.

    I’m not nearly as keen on In a Lonely Place as most folks. But I’m not crazy about noir, which is depressing. I prefer hardboiled. But I’ll watch him in anything.

    Comment by Bob Byrne - June 29, 2020 2:27 pm


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