Pit Stop (1969)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Drama, Sport  |  14 May 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 312 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 30 critic

Grant Willard sponsors drivers in a "new" form of race car driving called The Figure Eight. The rise and fall of one such driver is the whole story behind PIT STOP.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grant Willard
Richard Davalos ...
Rick Bowman (as Dick Davalos)
Ellen McLeod (as Ellen McRae)
Hawk Sidney
George Washburn ...
Ed McLeod
Steve Pendleton ...
Robert Krist ...
Ted Duncan ...
Sonny Simpson
Moody (as Titus Moody)
Don White ...
Ray Thiel ...
Jack Seymour
Bob James
Harry Schooler ...


Grant Willard sponsors drivers in a "new" form of race car driving called The Figure Eight. The rise and fall of one such driver is the whole story behind PIT STOP.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Flesh Against Steel! See more »


Action | Drama | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 May 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Winner  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of Brian Donlevy. See more »


Grant Willard: I'm trying to find myself a winner. Racing is a tough business. It's strictly the survival of the fittest. It's just like war: You got a winner and a loser and nothing in between. I busted a lot of heads, training my company in the Marines. But when they got into action, they led the whole Division in decorations received - what was left of them.
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User Reviews

Amazing masterpiece
10 April 2003 | by (Zurich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Recently I watched for the first time Peter Bogdanovich's highly acclaimed "The Last Picture Show". And while watching it, this movie, made only a few years earlier by Jack Hill, came to my mind immediately. Ever since I wonder why I find The Winner so much superior.

The Winner has a similar setting and a story with similar protagonists like Picture Show. Both have Ellen Burstyn. Somehow The Winner is very direct. I suppose that whereas Picture Show was intellectual to the point of resembling a theses on film theory, The Winner shows the artisan's approach. It goes to your heart, not to your brain. I could not explain how it is done technically, but it is very effective.

Although apparently a "cheapie", The Winner is made by good professionals. The story is simple but coherent, straightforward and always entertaining. The acting performances are convincing throughout; there is screen veteran Brian Donlevy, the most peculiar of all "naturals" and definitively one of my all time Hollywood favorites, playing the type of the greedy sports manager. "Cheapie"-star Sid Haig plays a bad boy with appropriate cartoonish zeal, the same can be said of the performance of "the chick", played by Beverly Washburn. The main character, a young racing enthusiast, is presented like a junk yard gladiator: taciturn, brooding and determined - "existentialistic". It all fits. Ellen Burstyn's low-key performance as a racer's wife is extremely touching - her part again compares favorably with the Oscar winning one in Picture Show.

The black and white fotography is excellent, there is a long, almost dreamlike sequence of dragster cars making artful figures in the sand dunes. The soundtrack is fantastic and a good early example of heavy rock music. This is an artful portrait of American provincial youth just before the hippy movement started.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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