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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: boblipton from New York City
5 May 2006

An exciting Warners B programmer features some of the best of Warner's stock company, including Lyle Talbot and Mary Astor in the lead, with the ever-dependable Roscoe Karns, Mary Treen, Frankie Darro and Henry Kolker in support. Although the director, Ross Lederman, does not do anything particularly interesting, he directs the dialogue -- including a lot of lines by Dore Schary, at high speed.

The plot crams an awful lot into the movie, perhaps a little too much, but it is certainly typical of Warners B movies, and the cinematographers choose some interesting camera angles to focus on Mary Astor.... always a pleasure to look at, and always able to communicate an interesting combination of brains and beauty. While this is not a great movie, it certainly is worth your time.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It's BEN HUR, brought up to date without the religious background.

Author: Fisher L. Forrest ( from Jacksonville, Oregon, USA
7 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yep, that's right the correspondences are too many to be accidental. First off, we have two guys who are close associates, but who become enemies. One of the guys is falsely accused of a crime and sent to prison. Remember "Ben Hur" was falsely accused of attacking a Roman bigwig and sent off to be a galley slave, largely at the instigation of his former friend. Our racing mechanic escapes and goes to South America, where under another name he becomes a famous racing driver. "Ben Hur", thanks to saving a Roman admiral, becomes a famous chariot racer. Near the end, "Ben Hur" and his former friend race against each other. His opponent attempts to wreck the chariot of "Ben Hur" with "Greek" chariot wheel scythes, which will tear out another chariot's spokes. Our mechanic's enemy tries a similar trick with a spike on the side of his car, intended to puncture his rival's tyres. In both cases, the nefarious plan fails and the unscrupulous racer is killed. No doubt one can find other similarities, but these are enough I think. With a famous name like Dore Schary as one of the screenwriters, it is likely the studio was the guilty party in suppressing the plagiarism. I can just hear Dore Schary saying to his producer: "We really ought to credit General Lew Wallace, since we are adapting his famous novel." And we can hear the producer reply:"Lew Wallace? Never heard of him. Who does he write for? Republic? Fogeddabatit!" The background of the auto racing story uses considerable footage of what may be actual Indianopolis 500 scenes from the late 1920's. There are some really spectacular crashes shown, especially in the final race at fictional "Dayton 500 Speedway". This little B-pic is not bad at all. It gives Mary Astor a very "meaty" role. She is a "licensed mechanician" and helps her father design and build racing cars. In those days, the mechanic often rode with the driver to assist in handling some ancillary controls. And that's what Mary does in the big final race!

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Anyway, red hot Mary

Author: marcslope from New York, NY
4 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Utterly implausible Warners programmer, a little over an hour, but a nice look at Lyle Talbot, always a likable leading man, and Mary Astor, in fetching garage-mechanic drag. Even in an unimportant B like this one, she's fully committed and always entertaining to watch. Good work, too, from that excellent child actor Frankie Darro and the always-despicable Gavin Gordon. The plot takes even wider turns than the race cars, of which there's a lot of footage, and we're supposed to believe that Talbot, having broken out of prison for a crime he didn't commit and fled to South America, would successfully sneak back into the States, fly to Dayton just as a race is starting, take over mid-race from buddy Roscoe Karns, win, and be pardoned because the presiding judge just happens to be in the stands and gets the true story from Astor. It's ridiculous and rushed, but an agreeable time-passer, and Mary's always worth looking at, even in these reduced circumstances.

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