Speedtrap (1977) Poster


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I'm just partial to B movies !
fbm727518 January 2011
I lived in Phoenix at the time when this was filmed and recognize some things that are now long gone, so watching this movie holds a lot of sentimental nostalgia for me. Some of the scenes were filmed right in the parking lot of the downtown Phoenix police station (built in 1974) The garage where Richard Jaeckel's character works (located at 9th Avenue & Jefferson) was a real auto repair facility called Paul's. Some of the street scenes look like they were filmed in Tucson as well. The antique auto show scenes are right near City Hall. I watch this at least 4 to 5 times a year. Not bad for something I paid $3 for at a truck stop!

The race track scenes were filmed at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix which was an icon for local racers starting in the 1950s. Sadly it closed in 2014 another victim of overzealous redevelopment that has been going on for decades now. I long since moved away from there.
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An immensely enjoyable 70's drive-in car chase action hoot
Woodyanders22 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Scruffy, nonconformist loose cannon private eye Pete Novick (burly, bullfrog-faced 70's action movie icon Joe Don Baker at his most breezy and ingratiating) and sassy, spirited rookie police lady Nifty Nolan (played to pert'n'perky perfection by Tyne Daly, who tackled a similar role in "The Enforcer" and eventually found greater fame as a gutsy, feminist-minded detective on "Cagney and Lacey") join forces to capture an evasive, enigmatic hi-tech car thief known as the Road Runner, a crafty, crackerjack driver with a taste for fancy expensive automobiles.

This witty, lively, easygoing, fairly tongue-in-cheek and highly entertaining cops'n'crooks crime/action thriller qualifies as frisky, first-rate, free-wheeling straight-up-with-no-chaser 70's drive-in fun at its most unpretentious and to-the-point best. Director Earl Bellamy keeps the characterizations and plot exposition to an absolute minimum, placing a marked emphasis on frequent stirring outbursts of fast'n'furious excitement: blazing shoot-outs, knock-down, drag-out fist fights, and, best of all, more tire-squealing, rubber-burning, gear-grinding, dust and dirt flying car chases than you can shake an oily dipstick at. Dennis Dalzell's slick, animated cinematography also delivers the goods, notably some tasty freeze frames and spiffy use of heart-pounding slow motion. The lowdown funky, heavy on the brassy horns and wicked wah-wah guitars score by Anthony Harris hits a blistering righteous groove that's further enhanced by several seriously groovy songs which sporadically blare away on the soulful soundtrack.

The top-drawer supporting cast really hits the spot as well: Robert Loggia in his sole 70's B-picture as a classy, business-like drug kingpin whose Rolls Royce with $1 million worth of smack in the trunk gets stolen by the Roadrunner, the always creepy and unnerving Timothy Carey as Loggia's brutish right-hand man, a total lout who wears loud Hawaiian shirts; Richard Jaeckel as a helpful mechanic, Morgan Woodard as a shady, on the take police captain, Natalie Wood's busty sister Lana as a flaky psychic, and longtime favorite 70's exploitation flick regular Roberta Collins as a ditsy, klutzy student driver who keeps crashing her car. Co-screenwriter Stuart A. Segall also directed the so-awful-it's-weirdly-awesome cheesy gimmick slice'n'dice item "Drive-In Massacre." Producer Howard Pine later gave us the spectacular "Straight Time." Joe Don Baker made his name in the first "Walking Tall" movie; Earl Bellamy directed that film's first sequel! Quickly paced and efficiently done all around, "Speedtrap" never once runs out of gas, keeping the pedal to the metal for 98 brisk, vibrantly right-on minutes of pure 70's grindhouse pleasure.
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Excellent Movie please release on DVD pr BLU RAY and CD
richardaevans13 June 2014
This is my all time favorite car chase movie. Not only does it do the usual and make the car thief look more impressive than the cops, but it has a great twist in the tail, stars some of the best actors from the 60s and 70s and has some great cars and technology at the time that led the way for future cars (the card of today) to follow.

Dianne Marchall does beautiful singing for the music titles and the guitar music throughout the movie is 2nd to none for this genre of movie.

Being an actor myself ( also you can find me on the IMDb.com Richard Andrew Evans ) I would love to appear in a remake of Speed Trap and hopefully get to drive some of those old cars :) TOP TOP MOVIE - Why is it not on DVD? why is the "entire movie soundtrack" not available on CD? It is impossible these days to find the "5 minutes 45RPM" Vinyl that was released as the movie soundtrack.

Splendid movie, lets all keep our fingers crossed this eventually surfaces on the shelves for us to buy, watch, enjoy and listen to one more time with the high quality of reproduction we have today.

10 out of 10 - BRILLIANT ! :) Story, acting, movie, the LOT - GET IT IF YOU CAN.
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Not a bad car crash movie, although flawed.
emm15 December 1998
Movies like SPEEDTRAP usually don't get an even brake, er, break anymore. It's a good alternative to GONE IN 60 SECONDS when it comes to automotive action, yet it's not all that exciting this time around. It does have a couple of big explosions and a giant police car pile-up. The scene where Road Runner's car leaps from one tall building to another is so odd to believe. Too much stray footage not relating to the movie makes the story look mumble-jumbled, though. A few scenes were very useless in accompanying the action for which SPEEDTRAP is based upon. What it lacks for a writing flaw, it makes up for some humor. The female student driver who appears twice steals the show, making big mistakes at every turn in a careless, but amusing way. Joe Don Baker, PO'ed at the Road Runner, says the goofiest line I've ever heard: "Beep beep my @$$!". Later on, it becomes a predictable surprise. This one rips off GONE IN 60 SECONDS as with other car crash movies of the 70s, but it's worth a try if like fun-filled, though greatly missed, auto action thrills.
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Easily written script
Paul-30814 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It sure must not have taken any time to come up with Speedtrap,just about all of the movie had been done before.What really amazes me,is why Joe Don Baker agreed to star in this film.Sure it was money,but his part is mainly that of grinning car driver and not much else.The whole of the movie is loosely based on Gone in 60 seconds...cars get stolen,and the cops chase them.Usually until both the police car and the stolen car are nearly destroyed.The tip off to the rip off is the 1971-1973 generation Ford Mustang (base coupe,not Mach1 fastback though)that gets stolen and slams into another car leaving the lot.Exactly what happened in "Gone".A slow motion jump from building to building,a slow motion jump from a culvert pipe into a pond...loosely replicates the slow motion jump of "Eleanor" over a row of crashed/parked cars in "Gone".Even the police dispatcher is one of the female dispatchers in "Gone".The car Novick drives is a 1971-72 Dodge Charger,painted up like Starsky & Hutch's "Tomato" Gran Torino,the Charger is even jacked up with chrome wheels a'la S&H.The cops are made to look like buffoons crashing nearly every Plymouth Satellite LAPD ever decomissioned (this must have been stolen from Dirty Mary,Crazy Larry).The female star (Tyne Daley) is treated a lot like her appearance with Dirty Harry,a novice cop who needs to prove herself. Not that this movie is all bad.Good chase scenes,catchy music,and a laughably smug Joe Don pass the time well.Looking back at the promise Tyne Daley held as an actress,and seeing her in her youth (as opposed to her overweight later years) was always a welcome addition,but her addition to the film sorta spoiled the ending,you just knew she was out to prove herself,and make everybody else look foolish at the same time.
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