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Automobile engineer, Johnny Dark, designs a radical new car. When the owner refuses to sponsor the car in a Canada to Mexico Sports-car race, Johnny, with the aid of the owner's granddaughter, steals the car and runs the race against the favored driver, his ex-buddy. Written by
David Neylon <email@example.com>
Tony Curtis plays the title role in Johnny Dark who is an automobile designer brimming with new ideas. The trouble is that Curtis is working for a motor car company that is very stodgy in its ways. The head is Sidney Blackmer who bears no small resemblance to Henry Ford. Back in the day Ford insisted on turning out his Model-T when the taste of the American motoring public had changed. So it is with Blackmer who says his company has no place for the sports car that Curtis has designed. In fact says Blackmer's secretary and girl Friday Ilka Chase that it took a major effort for Blackmer to put a station wagon on the market.
But Tony has allies, among them Chase, Paul Kelly the chief designer of the company and Piper Laurie who is Blackmer's granddaughter. She likes what she sees in Curtis on many levels.
It's all climaxed in an American style grand prix with a marathon race from the Canadian border to the Mexican border in Lower California. Many obstacles are encountered but do you doubt that Curtis will triumph?
Some nice racing sequences are expertly photographed for the film. Besides those mentioned in the cast take note of Don Taylor who plays Curtis's test driver and friend. Curtis is so self centered he blames Taylor for a crash when it was a mechanical failure. Taylor gets back at him. That self centeredness and dedication to his mission also cause problems between Tony and Piper Laurie.
Johnny Dark will never rank among the great racing films like Grand Prix from the next decade. But it's a decent enough action programmer exhibiting one of Universal Studio's biggest young stars of the decade.
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