A man on a fishing trip with three of his friends receives a blow to the head that makes him lose his memory. Three years later it all comes back to him, but on the day it does one of the men who was on the trip with him turns up dead.
Peter Wells, a former world class driver of midget racers, has been struggling to regain his winning form in the two years since his discharge as an Air Force pilot. He's being pressed by his wife, who worries about his safety, to quit and his best friend 'Pic' Dallapiccola to retire to the pit crew. Wells also feels pressure from Guido Rosetti, a rival younger driver on his Corsi team, who thinks he's lost his nerve. After he has a disagreement with Pic just prior to an important race, his friend's car is involved in a horrific accident. Against orders, Wells quits the race early to be able to make his peace with his friend, who lies dying in the hospital. Tony Bellario, his Corsi boss, initially fires him for his actions, but relents and gives him one last desperate chance to redeem himself in the upcoming Grand Prix. Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
"Race for Life" (1954) is a modest drama occurring in the world of Grand Prix auto racing. Three racers belong to a team, Richard Conte, George Coulouris and Alec Mango. The head investor/owner behind it is Peter Illing. Conte's wife is Mari Aldon.
Aldon wants Conte to retire. He hasn't done well for two years. People around him think he's harboring secret fear that's holding him back. He still wants to race and win. Illing's position on Conte's racing is flexible. If he can get him to win, he's for it. He's not anxious to reinforce what Aldon wants. On the other hand, he doesn't want to see his men lose.
The racing footage is standard for the time. Some rear projection is used. Narration livens the race drama. It's all low-budget.
I liked it for what it is. Conte is really excellent; he's intense. It's for noir completists like me. Coulouris is always good. Mango has an interesting character arc. Aldon is very good portraying the strains on the marriage. The dialog isn't particularly sharp, but it'll do.
This borders on being noir or may be classed as Britnoir.
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