Casey Owens (James Darren), a young mechanic, has developed a design for a turbine car engine, paving the way for a jet-powered auto certain to set a new land speed record. Wealthy playboy ... See full summary »
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John Drew Barrymore
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Yvonne De Carlo,
Casey Owens (James Darren), a young mechanic, has developed a design for a turbine car engine, paving the way for a jet-powered auto certain to set a new land speed record. Wealthy playboy Stanford Rogers (Peter Mann) hires Casey to build the car for him to race in the Tri-State Endurance Run. Chuck Manning (Doug McClure), an engineering student Casey met in a drag race, discovers potential flaws in the car's design. After an unsuccessful test run, Rogers abandons the turbine-powered car for a traditional racing model, but Casey and Chuck rework the turbine vehicle to compete with Rogers in the endurance run. Pamela Tiffin plays Eadie, Chuck's sister who becomes Casey's love interest. Written by
Dennis Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Chuck (Doug McClure) allows for a one second throttle lag, when he calculates the quarter mile time for the jet car, this may be true, but a drag racer would compensate for this by trying to launch early to allow for the lag time. See more »
When the officer gives Chuck and Casey a ticket for trespassing on the drag strip, the landscape is flat. In the next shot, mountains can be seen in the background. See more »
The main reason I love this movie is because it shows off the Chrysler Turbine Car to great effect. The scene where the camera zooms in on the exposed turbine engine during the road race still gives me goosebumps when I see it. Back in the sixties that was like saying, "Here's the Future, folks; get a close-up look at it in action!"
The rest of the movie is admittedly a bit stilted and obvious, but Darren and McClure are earnest and believable, and the race scenes are well staged and filmed. Seeing the actual race drivers in their younger days is kind of fun, too.
I was shocked upon a recent viewing because when I saw this film as a kid I remember believing that the evening desert scenes were actually filmed outdoors! Now the studio lighting and backdrops are painfully obvious to adult eyes.
I always wondered why such a Chrysler-oriented movie would have so many Mercurys hanging around (Pam's convertible Comet, most notably.) Were there some hard feelings between the studio and Chrysler, for some reason, which may have caused the director to populate the sets with competitor's cars? I would much rather have seen Furys and 300 Letter cars in this instance. However, those two great Engel Imperials are worth the price of admission for me.
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