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The Checkered Flag (1963)

(1963) Peggy Vendig, Joe Morrison, Charles Martin, Evelyn King. A wild movie. The wife of an aging, millionaire race car driver talks a young rookie into helping her dispose of her hubby. ... See full summary »


William Grefé


William Grefé

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Cast overview:
Joe Morrison ... Bill Garrison
Evelyn King Evelyn King ... Bo Rutherford
Charles G. Martin ... Rutherford
Peggy Vendig Peggy Vendig ... Ginger


(1963) Peggy Vendig, Joe Morrison, Charles Martin, Evelyn King. A wild movie. The wife of an aging, millionaire race car driver talks a young rookie into helping her dispose of her hubby. Their plan brings horrifying results. The ending of this film is a knockout, and not what you expect. Similar in some ways to FREAKS. Lots of racing scenes. From 35mm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

car racing | independent film | See All (2) »


Action | Drama







Release Date:

29 May 1963 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Guild Studios 5 See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-edited)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


William Grefé was working a full-time job as a firefighter when he made this movie. See more »


Coconut Fall on de Head
Words and Music by Alice Simms and George Symonette
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User Reviews

It's Certainly Not Hitchcock
15 August 2016 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Checkered Flag (1963)

* (out of 4)

Millionaire stock car driver Rutherford (Charles G. Martin) pushes away newcomer Bill Garrison (Joe Morrison) but luckily for the young guy he ends up meeting Rutherford's wife (Evelyn King). Soon the wife agrees to put up the money for the young kid's racing career if he is willing to kill her husband.

William Grefe made his directorial debut with this ultra low-budget film that probably would have been playing fourth on an all-night drive-in marathon. The director will always be best remembered for his Florida shockers like DEATH CURSE OF TARTU and MAKO: THE JAWS OF DEATH and it's easy to see why this film has pretty much been avoided even by his strongest fans.

There are all sorts of problems with this movie. It really does seem as if Grefe had some race car footage so they decided to wrap a story around it. The problem is that there's really nothing "good" on display here and that includes a painfully bad music score, which was probably just public domain music that they were using. God knows it doesn't match up to the actual film footage very well.

Another problem is that we're given three very annoying and stupid characters. The characters are so poorly done that you really don't care about any of them and you certainly don't care how the murder- for-hire plot plays out. The performances aren't too bad but do we watch films like this for the acting? The highlight of the film is probably the musical number "Bikini Baby" which is downright horrid and will certainly get a couple laughs.

THE CHECKERED FLAG is a very forgettable thriller that certainly doesn't have any thrills or suspense or much of anything else.

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