David Langham, the youngest son of a hot-rod hating father, Judge Langham, buys an old jalopy but, out of respect for his father, doesn't convert it. He changes his mind when Jack Blodgett,... See full summary »
Old Los Angeles finds Bill Stockton leaving Missouri to join his brother Larry, and prospect for gold in California. Bill and his pal, Sam Bowie, arrive in the picturesque town of old Los ... See full summary »
Police detective sergeant Jeff Andrews is working on a case involving a gang of shoplifters, and he allows himself to falsely arrested as a petty thief, in order to make contact with the ... See full summary »
Two convicts who have just escaped from prison are picked up by a motorist. He recognizes the men from descriptions given of them on the radio, but instead of turning them over to the ... See full summary »
Newsreel cameraman Bob Clemens, an avowed woman hater, is assigned to cover the Lake Placid exhibition of Karen Vadja, the Swiss ice Queen. He misses his plane and fails to get the footage ... See full summary »
Bud Dolliver, a former WWII hero, and an ex-convict, returns to his home town in an effort to make a new life for himself but, even with the help of Lou Jellison, a cannery worker, he finds... See full summary »
David Langham, the youngest son of a hot-rod hating father, Judge Langham, buys an old jalopy but, out of respect for his father, doesn't convert it. He changes his mind when Jack Blodgett, the local speed demon, impresses David's girl, Janie Pitts, and David makes his car the fastest in town. Jack steals David's hot rod, and flees the scene of an accident he causes. The car is traced back to David, but the truth comes out in court, although David's father is still unhappy about the car... until David and his friend, Swifty Johnson, use it to apprehend some escaping robbers. The Judge decides to back a movement for building a hot-rod race track for the town. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Car culture was a big deal for post-war teens. As I recall, cool cars conferred about as much status on ambitious boys as competitive sports. The war had put a big crimp in the supply of new cars, so boys fashioned their own automotive skills by assembling 'hot rods' from spare parts wherever they could get them. As the movie shows, true hot rods were faster than normal, and when a kid won a competition, either on the street or on a track, he was not only showing off driving skills, but mechanical ability as well. In short, he built an enviable reputation among teens if not among adults.
The movie dramatizes much of this. Of course, the story's done Hollywood style. Thus, many of the rough dramatic edges are smoothed out in the end, even if it's not too plausible. For example, kids would continue to do risky street racing, despite drag strips alternatives. Nonetheless, for viewers curious about teens and the time period, Jimmy Lydon is a good example of the teen image prior to James Dean's celebrated rebelliousness. Lydon's a little overage here for the school boy part, but his basic likability and respectfulness are never in doubt.
Anyway, whatever else, the movie remains a showcase for hot-rodding, circa 1950.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?