Alfred "Gloves" Donahue (Humphrey Bogart), a big-shot Broadway gambler, is alerted by his mother, 'Ma' Donahue (Jane Darwell), that her neighbor, Mr. Miller (Ludwig Stossel), a baker who makes Gloves' favorite cheesecake, is missing. Upon searching the bakery, Gloves finds Miller's dead body. A young singer, Leda Hamilton (Kaaren Verne), quickly leaves the shop upon hearing about Miller's demise. Mrs. Donahue believes that the girl knows something and tracks her down to a night club, where she creates a racket by "crabbing" about Miller's death. Co-partner of the Duchess Club, Marty Callahan (Barton MacLane), calls Gloves, insisting that he come down and take care of the situation. While at the club, Gloves has a drink with Leda that is interrupted by her piano player, Pepi (Peter Lorre), who takes her away to a back room, where he shoots Marty's partner, Joe Denning (Edward Brophy). Lena and Pepi then disappear in a taxi as Gloves stumbles upon Joe. Before dying, Joe raises up five fingers to indicate who took Leda. Gloves quickly leaves to search for Leda, inadvertently leaving one of his gloves at the murder scene.
While being suspected of Joe's murder by Marty and the police, Gloves traces the taxi to an antiques/auction house operated by Hall Ebbing (Conrad Veidt) and his assistant, Madame (Judith Anderson). While posing as a bidder, Gloves is recognized by Pepi. He subsequently gets knocked out by Leda, tied up, and left in a storage room with one of his boys, Sunshine (William Demarest), who was earlier captured. Later, Leta visits them, enabling them to break free from their ropes before they are packed up in crates and shipped out. Before escaping, Gloves and Sunshine walk into a room with maps, charts, a short-wave radio, and a portrait of Adolf Hitler. They realize that their captors are "fivers" or Nazi fifth columnists, which is what Joe was indicating before he died. Gloves finds a notebook and reads Miller's name in it as well as that of "Leda Hamilton", her Jewish name "Uda Hammel", and the death of her father in Dachau concentration camp.
With Leda in tow, they escape. They are chased by Ebbing and his cronies into Central Park. Here, Leda explains that she is working with Ebbing only to save her father's life. While Gloves fights with a Nazi, Leda reads the torn-out page that states her father is already dead. Gloves and Leda go to the police, who search the antique house, but find it empty. Not believing Glove's story, they attempt to arrest him, but he escapes by diving into the East River. He arrives at his lawyer's (Wallace Ford) apartment, only to have Marty and his mob break in, eager to avenge Joe's murder. After Gloves convinces them of his innocence, the two gangs join forces against the Nazi spies.
Gloves, Sunshine, and Barney (Frank McHugh) go to the police station where Leda is being held. Ebbing, however, has bailed her out, and they arrive as she is being forced into a car. They chase the car to a shop where an underground Nazi meeting is being held. Gloves and Sunshine pose as Nazis to get into the meeting, which eventually gets broken up by the combined gangs. Ebbing escapes, shooting Pepi to death, as he refused to take part in a two-man suicide mission. Ebbing intends to proceed with the plan to blow up a battleship in New York harbor. Gloves follows him to the docks, where Ebbing surprises him and forces him into a motorboat containing high explosives. At gunpoint, Ebbing forces Gloves to steer the boat toward the battleship. Gloves suddenly steers the boat off course and jumps into the water, while the boat with Ebbing still on board crashes into a barge and explodes.
Back at the police station, Gloves and Leda find out that all charges have been dropped and that the mayor is going to honor him at city hall. Ma Donahue enters complaining that the milkman has disappeared, and she is afraid something has happened to him. Gloves asks: "What makes you think that?" Ma states, "Well, son, I've got a feeling".
Cast notesJackie Gleason and Wallace Ford are billed onscreen as "Jackie C. Gleason" and "Wally Ford" respectively.
Jackie Gleason and Phil Silvers owe their presence in the film to the direct intervention of Warner Bros. studio head Jack L. Warner, who personally phoned director Vincent Sherman to ensure that they would be added to the cast.
Kaaren Verne and Peter Lorre married in 1945, and divorced in 1950.
Producer Hal B. Wallis made All Through the Night as a "companion piece" to his earlier anti-Nazi melodrama, Underground, despite the poor box office of the prior film.
Humphrey Bogart was not the first person considered for the lead in the film: it was originally supposed to be played by Walter Winchell, the gossip columnist who would later be the narrator for the TV series The Untouchables. When Winchell could not get the time off to make the film, Wallis offered it to George Raft, and then, when Raft turned it down, to Bogart. Olivia De Havilland and Marlene Dietrich were considered for the female lead.
The scene in which Bogart and William Demarest confuse a room full of Nazi sympathizers with doubletalk was not part of the original script, but was invented by director Sherman, who filmed it despite the objections of producer Wallis. Wallis ordered it removed from the film, but Sherman left a small segment of it in, and when preview audiences reacted positively to it, Wallis backed down and told Sherman to put the entire scene back in.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times gave the film a mostly positive review, writing: "In spite of its slap-bang construction and its hour-and-three-quarters length, the picture does move with precision and steadily maintained suspense ... 'All Through the Night' is not exactly a melodrama out of the top drawer, but it is a super-duper action picture — mostly duper, when you stop to think." Variety wrote: "Somewhat on the lurid side and with the Nazi menace motif of familiar timber, shortcomings are compensated for by fast-moving continuity which smartly builds suspense and hold (sic) attention." Film Daily called it a "fast-moving and exciting melodrama." Russell Maloney of The New Yorker panned the film, writing that "Hitchcock himself couldn't have asked for a better plot," but claiming that it was brought down by "the feebleness of invention, the wordiness of the dialogue, [and] the sluggishly paced direction."