7.2/10
2,459
67 user 23 critic

Hell Drivers (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 26 July 1957 (UK)
Ex-con trucker tries to expose his boss' rackets.

Director:

Cy Endfield (as C. Raker Endfield)

Writers:

John Kruse (screenplay), Cy Endfield (screenplay) (as C. Raker Endfield) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Baker ... Tom Yately
Herbert Lom ... Gino Rossi
Peggy Cummins ... Lucy
Patrick McGoohan ... C. 'Red' Redman
William Hartnell ... Cartley
Wilfrid Lawson ... Ed
Sidney James ... Dusty
Jill Ireland ... Jill
Alfie Bass ... Tinker
Gordon Jackson ... Scottie
David McCallum ... Jimmy Yately
Sean Connery ... Johnny Kates
Wensley Pithey Wensley Pithey ... Pop
George Murcell ... Tub
Marjorie Rhodes Marjorie Rhodes ... Ma West
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Storyline

Joe "Tom" Yateley is an ex-convict. Trying to leave his past behind, he decides to start working for the Hawlett Trucking company, which transports gravel. It's an aggressive company, where speed is everything. Doing too few runs in a day? You're out. Red is the most experienced trucker. He can do eighteen runs in a day. Tom soon makes friends with Lucy, the secretary, and Gino, a driver. But the record of Red intrigues him and he wants to break it. Gino advises against it, but he helps Tom when he wants to go through with it. Soon trouble begins when Red and the other drivers form a united front against Tom. Just when Tom has enough and decides to pack his bags, Lucy tells him Gino had a terrible accident. She also tells about the corruption of Hawlett Trucking. Written by Arnoud Tiele (zelva@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Roaring Down the World's Deadliest Roads! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 1957 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Drivers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hawletts' Yard, contrary to some reports on the internet, was actually built on the Pinewood Studios backlot, just to the north of "H" Stage. This is approximately where the massive "007" stage stands today. See more »

Goofs

Tom Yateley (Stanley Baker) wears the same shirt throughout the duration of the film, regardless of whether he is driving or going out socially. See more »

Quotes

[Ed is encouraging Tom to drive faster and faster along a single-track road]
Ed, Hawlett Mechanic: Don't ease up.
Tom Yately: Supposing we meet something.
Ed, Hawlett Mechanic: Supposing we don't. Look on the bright side.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Interpol Calling (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant, underrated piece of British 50s social realism
20 July 2003 | by sayeseleSee all my reviews

This underrated film, directed by Cy Endfield (Zulu) is a dour, realistic drama about an ex-con (Stanley Baker) who goes to work as a lorry driver for a crooked haulage company, only to discover that the ruthless boss and his foreman are cheating the drivers of huge amounts of money, and forcing them to work in dangerous conditions, resulting in the death of several drivers.

It benefits from a taut, BAFTA nominated screenplay by Endfield and John Kruse (better known as a documentary film maker), which pulls no punches in its realistic depiction of the genuinely life-threatening conditions that these lorry drivers had to endure.

Its chief asset, however, is the remarkably strong cast. Stanley Baker, as the ex-con determined to expose his corrupt bosses, brings a quiet strength and sincerity to his role as a basically decent guy who makes the wrong choices. It is interesting to compare Baker's performance here with his acclaimed portrayal of the ruthless, hardened gangster in Joseph Losey's 'The Criminal', made three years later.

Patrick McGoohan shines in an early role as the psychopathic lead driver, exuding genuine menace. And as for the priceless supporting cast: Herbert Lom, Sid James, Gordon Jackson, and Sean Connery in one of his earliest roles..need I say more. To sum up, Hell Drivers is a minor classic of post-war British cinema, and deserves more recognition than it has formerly feceived.


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