Skip to content

Speed-Crazed…Thrill-Hungry…On a date with danger and love!

July 17, 2014

Devil On Wheels (1947)

Wednesday, July 23rd

Film starts at 8:00pm

Lady Jay’s: 633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

And we are also pleased to announce that dinner will now be provided by Delilah’s Steaks…so come HUNGRY!!

10300901_10152315499234608_8559159465116923035_n

 

The Devil On Wheels (1947)

When he took the wheel, slammed on the throttle, and started burning rubber…HE WAS DYNOMITE!

devil_on_wheels_poster_02

Speed-crazed…Thrill-hungry…On a date with danger and love!

The Devil on Wheels is a 1947 black/white movie with a playing time of 67 minutes. The film was released by Producers Releasing Company Pictures and was produced by Ben Stoloff, and the assistant producer was Jerry Briskin. It was written and directed by Crane Wilbur. It stars James B. Cardwell, Noreen Nash, Darryl Hickman, Jan Ford, Damian O’Flynn, Lenita Love, William Forrest, Sue England and Robert Arthur. The background is typical Hollywood symphonic music, which is heightened for chase scenes. The movie’s plot is about a family that is torn apart by the evils of illegal hot rod street racing. The father indulges his children and although he knows the dangers, does little to prevent the horrors that will happen to his family. In fact, the father sets a poor example by driving too fast and showing little respect for those who share the road. He buys cars for his children that are fast and encourages his sons to develop their mechanical skills. The oldest son matures and goes off to the military where he becomes a fighter pilot and is the dream of all the girls back home. The younger son falls in with a group of local hot rodders who continually break the law. Their girlfriends egg them on rather than reason with them to be more responsible. Eventually they descend into a downward spiral that leads to a death on the streets and the young boy’s mother seriously hurt in the hospital. At last the youths are confronted with the results of their actions and realize the harm they have caused, which can only be eased by serving time for their crimes.

thumb
When are you gonna put this hop up together and burn a little rubber…hmmm

The Devil on Wheels is a very early example of illegal drag racing on the streets and the harm that it can cause. The movie was released in 1947 and the only reference to legal drag racing was a mention of “there will be legal drag racing at the dry lakes this Saturday for those whose cars have passed the safety inspections.” This would refer to El Mirage dry lake in California. The kids mention terms such as ‘hop up,’ and ‘hopping up,’ which young people used to describe how they were enhancing the performance and speeds of their cars. The father waited two years for “the car he ordered,” indicating that it was two years after the end of World War II. They used the term ‘drag races’ and gave statistics throughout the film, such as the fact that 37,000 Americans died in car accidents in 1947. We have twice the number of people and five times more automobiles today than in 1947 and the death rate today is only slightly higher than it was then. The carnage must have been terrible. Accidents that we can recover from probably meant a gruesome death back then. The film shows the absolute hatred that people felt towards young speeders in their hopped up hot rods.

86a343fb025c0ba85d78b618d0867bf7
The Devil on Wheels has the feel of a documentary, mixed with the 1940’s film noir tradition of Hollywood. The acting is pretty good. The plot and script are interesting and rarely stalls. The action scenes are adequate based on the low budget of the movie, but the hot rods look fast and sleek on the screen. Only Darryl Hickman had a substantial career, but the actors hold their own in the film. Hickman did a credible job but lacked the edginess of a young man in rebellion. The role was made for James Dean, but he was four years away from beginning his acting career. The movie spent too much time in court scenes and in the morgue. It would have been better to have more action with the cars and at the illegal drags, thus showing the power and influence that speed and cars hold over young people. The movie struggled a little bit when the young people were separated from their cars. Overall, this is a good movie from the 1940’s that definitely rose above its limitations. From a rating of 1 to a maximum of 8 spark plugs, I give this move a 5 1/2 spark plug rating.

Film review courtesy of HOTROD Hotline

devil_on_wheels_poster_01

Watch the teaser

 

Watch the full film

LIKE the FACEBOOK page for even more Cine Meccanica FUN!!!!

CM JULY 2014

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: