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Hell's Highway: The True Story of Highway Safety Films (2003)

The history of traffic safety educational films and their notoriously lurid content.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Husband (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
John F. Butler ...
Himself
...
(archive footage)
Earle Deems ...
Himself (as Earle J. Deems)
John R. Domer ...
Himself
David Krug ...
Himself
Eric Krug ...
Himself
Rick Prelinger ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Helena Reckitt ...
Narrator (voice)
...
Rellik (archive footage)
...
Narrator (archive footage)
Mike Vraney ...
Himself
James Waller ...
Himself
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Storyline

This film covers the early history of post World War II educational films, especially those involving traffic safety by the Highway Safety Foundation under direction of Richard Wayman. In the name of promoting safe driving in teenagers, these films became notorious for their gory depiction of accidents to shock their audiences to make their point. The film also covers the role of safety films of this era, their effect on North American teenage culture, the struggle between idealism and lurid exploitation and how they reflected the larger society concerns of the time that adults projected onto their youth. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Taglines:

Educational! Controversial! Unforgettable! See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

27 June 2003 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,225 (USA) (27 June 2003)

Gross:

$1,225 (USA) (27 June 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Narcotic (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Tone Poem for the Nikki Sixx Million
Performed by Alan Licht
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User Reviews

Great to Bring this Genre to the Forefront
5 September 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

A great idea,but a rather shaky production.Great interviews with members of the Foundation,and video archivists.They missed the chance to possibly interview those who appeared in the films (as victims) and those who recreated scenes in their films (like Wheels of Tragedy).But overall,thank goodness this genre has been given a new voice.Kids today laugh at death and blood.Society has felt it better to shield kids from the reality of death and agony rather than shock them/damage them,with the truth.Death isn't pretty,but its reality.Many thousands die every year,and millions are injured....what better subject to showcase than the fact that car crashes kill and maim American lives.For those who feel that sacraficing even one soldier in Iraq or Afganistan is wrong,just stop and think....how many Americans die in just ONE day on our roads? And nothing our "mighty" SUVs,pickups,semis,muscle cars or exotic imports can prevent.People die in EVERY vehicle,in every state and in every town.And over time,in every street.Think about that next time you tool around town talking on the cell phone or adjusting your radio knob.Take the advice these films were meant to give...think,use your head,and fear for your life.You will be a much safer driver as a result.


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