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Edward G. Robinson,
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Edward G. Robinson,
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J. Farrell MacDonald
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The story of trench life during World War I through the lives of a French regiment. As men are killed and replaced jaunty Lt. Denet becomes more and more somber. His rival for the affection of nurse Monique is Capt. La Roche.
The story of three racing drivers and three women, who constantly have to worry for the lives of their boyfriends. Jim Loomis and Mike Marsh drive for Pat Cassarian. Jim expects his fiancée Holly, but before she arrives, he dies in a race. Since she hasn't got the money to travel back, she stays. The young and very ambitious talent Ned Arp joins the team and immediately starts wooing Pat's sister Julie. Third in the team is womanizer Dan McCall, who brings with him his current girlfriend Gabrielle from Paris. So the basic theme of this soap is "Who with whom?" Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Noted director Howard Hawks would make only two more films after "Red Line 7000" before calling it a day.
"Red Line" is a soap opera racing flick from 1965 that tries a bit too hard to be hip (no doubt on account of Hawks' previous film "Man's Favorite Sport?" being criticized as "old-fashioned"). It's corny at times and melodramatic at others, but it's fun and highlighted by some truly bizarre dance numbers, including clever usage of public domain music (be on the look out for the rockin' rendition of "The Old Gray Mare").
The picture is generally considered to be one of Hawks' worst films, if not THE worst, but it's redeemed by the dynamic chemistry between James Caan and Marianna Hill, who plays a French girl. Caan displays the intensity and talent that would make him one of the better actors of the early 70s. And Hill's performance, on par with other memorable Hawks discoveries Lauren Bacall and Angie Dickinson, makes you wonder why she didn't become a bigger star before fading into obscurity. Particularly notable are Hill's two lusty dancing sequences, at the nightclub and later at the Holiday Inn Pepsi machine, as Caan observes her from afar.
If you're not familiar with the incredibly gorgeous Marianna Hill, she played Dr. Helen Noel on the original Star Trek episode "Dagger of the Mind" from 1966 (1st season). Believe it or not, Hill was arguably the MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN to appear on the series (which is saying A LOT in light of the fact that Star Trek is highly noted for it's over-abundance of stunning beauties). She appeared in NUMEROUS television shows throughout the 60s and 70s (e.g. Batman, Kung Fu, Bonanza, Mayberry RFD, etc.) and also quite a few films like Elvis' "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" (1966), Clint Eastwood's "High Plains Drifter" (1973) and even STARRED in the underrated atmospheric horror flick "Dead People" (aka "Messiah of Evil" 1973).
BOTTOM LINE: Hill and Caan redeem "Red Line 7000" and make it a mandatory purchase or viewing. The film should have focused exclusively on these two characters and gotten rid of everybody else (!), yet even with its weaknesses "Red Line" is still more intriguing than the more popular mid-60s race drama "Grand Prix."
Unfortunately the film is only available used on VHS for WAY too much money. Hopefully it will be released on DVD some time soon!
Allow me to close by repeating: MARIANNA HILL IS IN THE FILM!
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