Casey Owens (James Darren), a young mechanic, has developed a design for a turbine car engine, paving the way for a jet-powered auto certain to set a new land speed record. Wealthy playboy ...
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John Drew Barrymore
Casey Owens (James Darren), a young mechanic, has developed a design for a turbine car engine, paving the way for a jet-powered auto certain to set a new land speed record. Wealthy playboy Stanford Rogers (Peter Mann) hires Casey to build the car for him to race in the Tri-State Endurance Run. Chuck Manning (Doug McClure), an engineering student Casey met in a drag race, discovers potential flaws in the car's design. After an unsuccessful test run, Rogers abandons the turbine-powered car for a traditional racing model, but Casey and Chuck rework the turbine vehicle to compete with Rogers in the endurance run. Pamela Tiffin plays Eadie, Chuck's sister, who becomes Casey's love interest.Written by
Dennis Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Terrific remake of JOHNNY DARK (Universal, 1954), like the title says, this is a lively, fun picture. A young auto enthusiast and race-car driver, Casey Owens (James Darren reprising the Tony Curtis role from the earlier picture) enters a cross-country endurance road race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Nevada. The car(s) he enters in the race were the unique Chrysler Turbine Cars, of which 50 examples were built; a few of them were used on loan from Chrysler Corporation to make this movie, a few were sent to Auto Museums around the country after their testing was completed, and the rest were unfortunately destroyed to please the IRS. A cool, very enjoyable teenage-market movie, although with the usual teen romance, this was made by Universal to compete with Elvis Presley's MGM picture VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964) then in production, and this movie turned out to be more satisfying with an audience than the contrived romance of ELVIS and Ann-Margret, despite their obvious on-screen chemistry. And, to be even more cool, there were some surf music-hot rod songs by The Surfaris, like "Boss Barracuda", a song by hit pop singer Joanie Sommers (in her only movie role), "Casey Wake Up!", and the first film score written by pop singer Bobby Darin, who wisely did not sing in this movie. But what put this picture over the top was the elaborate, realistic, grueling road race from L.A. to Las Vegas, covered by real KMPC Radio announcers Dick Whittinghill and Captain Max Schumaker. Great stuff! Great cast! Highly recommended. From the same team that made the classic Universal sci-fi movies of the 1950s like IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. So what's not to like? So Universal, why isn't this out on video?
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