Down 32,439 this week

The Young Racers (1963)

 |  Action, Drama  |  January 1963 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.3/10 from 191 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

A former race-car driver-turned-writer decides to expose a ruthless, womanizing Grand Prix race driver in a book. However, his scheme explodes when his life is saved by this man, who is actually sensitive and misunderstood.


0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 73 titles
created 23 Jan 2011
a list of 37 titles
created 27 Feb 2013
a list of 158 titles
created 19 May 2013
a list of 4244 titles
created 19 Jan 2014
a list of 543 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Search for "The Young Racers" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Young Racers (1963)

The Young Racers (1963) on IMDb 4.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Young Racers.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A doctor uses special eye drops to give himself x-ray vision, but the new power has disastrous consequences.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone
Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

An American patrol has to cross behind enemy lines by skis in order to blow up an important railroad bridge. The task is made harder by conflicts between the platoon's veteran sergeant and ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Michael Forest, Frank Wolff, Wally Campo
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An artist grows distant from his new wife as an irrational horror of premature burial consumes him.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Richard Ney
War Hunt (1962)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Recruits head to the front lines towards the close of the Korean War. The interaction between two of the idealistic newcomer and a psychotic who goes on one-man patrols ... See full summary »

Director: Denis Sanders
Stars: John Saxon, Charles Aidman, Sydney Pollack
Drama | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman
Crime | Music | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Cloud Nine, the local teen hangout, has been taken over by a pair of escaped killers, who hold the local teens hostage. The bartender realizes it's up to him to save the kids.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Dick Miller, Russell Johnson, Abby Dalton
I Mobster (1958)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The rise and fall of gang lord Joe Sante.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Steve Cochran, Lita Milan, Robert Strauss
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Ev, along with her husband, Harold, and their lawyer friend Martin, are swimming while on vacation in Puerto Rico. When they resurface, they gradually conclude that an unexplained, ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Betsy Jones-Moreland, Antony Carbone, Robert Towne
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In a post-Apocalyptic world after an atomic war seven disparate people find themselves in a protected valley in the home of a survivalist and his beautiful daughter.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, Adele Jergens
The Undead (1957)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A beautiful woman is sent back in time via hypnosis to the Middle Ages where she finds she is suspected of being a witch, and subject to being executed.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Pamela Duncan, Richard Garland, Allison Hayes
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook
Apache Woman (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A government agent is sent to a western town to investigate attacks that the townspeople say are being commited by rampaging Apaches. The agent, however, suspects that different forces may ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Joan Taylor, Lance Fuller


Complete credited cast:
Mark Damon ...
Stephen Children
Joe Machin
Patrick Magee ...
Sir William Dragonet
John McLaren ...
Lotus Team Manager
R. Wright Campbell ...
Robert Machin
Milo Quesada ...
Italian Driver
Anthony Marsh ...
Sesia Machin
Margrete Robsahm ...
Christina Gregg ...
Béatrice Altariba ...


A former race-car driver-turned-writer decides to expose a ruthless, womanizing Grand Prix race driver in a book. However, his scheme explodes when his life is saved by this man, who is actually sensitive and misunderstood.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Actually Filmed at the Grand Prix Tracks of the World See more »


Action | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

January 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carrera con la muerte  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


All of Mark Damon's dialogue was looped by an uncredited William Shatner. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Masterful portraiture
28 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I've developed a particular interest in one of Roger Corman's modes of directing. From what I can see, apart from the odd attempt at a prestige movie (for example with von Richthofen and Brown - a neat little movie), he directed three types of movies: the monster movies eg. 'Creature from the Haunted Sea' (1961), 'The Wasp Woman' (1960); then there are the Poe inspired ones, eg. 'Premature Burial' (1962), 'Pit and the Pendulum' (1961); however the movies I'm interested in are the movies he makes about subcultures which are typically labelled 'exploitation' movies. These include Gas-s-s-s (1971), The Trip (1967), The Wild Angels (1966) etc. His targets in these movies are particular American subcultures such as gangsters, beatniks, bikers, acid-heads etc.

In a manner very similar to Verhoeven these movies are only ostensibly pure entertainment, indeed they are poorly made exploitation movies in the eyes of many. There is however a lucid heat-seeking intellect behind the scenes. Corman's target throughout can be seen as laxity of thought. His style is most evident in the openly satirical Gas-s-s-s, where he thoroughly slices through hippie idealism with his cine-pathologist's scalpel. To a lesser extent it's on display in The Young Racers, more of a prestige movie than the "exploitation" movies referred to, but an intellectual cousin. The montage over the opening credits is key, it shows a series of photographs of two young children playing with toy cars in a sand pit, we are shown a photograph of a horrible toothy, gummy, grin from one the children (the only time a face is shown), the clear implication being that being a gas-head is akin to a second childhood, and we suspect we will be given a Cormanesque exposition on the existential/Socratic unsoundness of motor racing. And to an extent we are.

The movie is about an arrogant racing champion (William Campbell as Joe Machin) who steals the fiancée of a writer (Mark Damon, playing Stephen Children) only to use her and toss her away. Children wants revenge and decides to write a book on Machin exposing him as a brainless womaniser. To do this he joins the Lotus team as some sort of test driver (Children had been a promising driver but given it up because he thought the sport too unsafe and morally disturbing - in his opinion the spectators came to see accidents). He strikes up a false friendship with Machin saying that he is going to write a mere novel, with Machin as the main character.

The Young Racers could be Corman's best film because of it's sheer intellectual honesty and avoidance of cardboard cutout reactionary characterisations. We learn that Children's initial thoughts about Machin were totally inaccurate, that Machin is a highly functional individual who has realised that the only way to seize life is with cruelty and passion. During one midnight moment Machin scrutinises the scrutiniser. He says: "I know what bugs you, you're disturbed because people act as if the words you're written were whispered in your ear. They don't figure you had to have sensitive feelings to put 'em down" "How can you know that?", "Because they cheer for Joe Machin the Grand Prix driver, not Joe the man". The script is terrifically strong, another example is when Machin is told he " like a sixteen-year old pursuing a maiden, trampling down the flowers as you pass." Indeed Children is almost subjected to more scrutiny than Machin, we are shown clearly that his fiancée was not the woman he thought her to be, in his mind she was what he wanted her to be. In truth, Machin did not seduce her, she threw herself at his feet in a moment of brazen shallowness. The main message of the movie is, I suspect, not to judge people at face value. The criticism of motor-racing becomes secondary, though highly intriguing.

The movie has a high art content, the initial photographic montage at the start of the film is an incredible exposition of the photographer's art, it manages to make the scene very primal. It reminds me of the adolescent atavism in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch where a group of children set a scorpion against an army of ants, and then pour fire on top of them, but the feeling in The Young Racers is achieved with much more subtlety. I was reminded of Alma-Tadema in two shots, one showing the ecstatically beautiful rose garden in Aintree, and secondly in Monaco where a deep-focus shot of painterly beauty is achieved by focusing on a hotel balcony overlooking lower Monaco and the bay. It's one of two places where I paused the DVD to let the beauty sink in. The other was for a static shot at the Spa Grand Prix where a shot of the racetrack is predominantly filled with a rickety barrier caked in verdigris. The ugliness of the sport at that time is captured in full. I could go on, the picnic on the meadow above Rouen, the beautiful cottage rented by the river just to please Children's secretary, etc.

Why do people not like it (at time of writing the IMDb vote average is 3.1/10)? I can only speculate. It is not a straightforward racer, for example like the Tom Cruise vehicle Days of Thunder (1990). There is no embracing of racing culture, which I suspect tends to confuse the audience that it has been marketed towards. I must admit that the acting is not particularly out of the top drawer, we are not spoilt, as we are in other Corman movies by the presences of the likes of Bruce Dern and Dennis Hopper.

The ending is also quite weak because the only way to tie up the film's themes is pretty anticlimactic. This having been said The Young Racers is more complex and human in it's storyline, and more beautiful in its imagery, than a dozen contemporary films.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Bill Campbell smanmike
Discuss The Young Racers (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: