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High Explosive

High Explosive(1943)

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In Washington, D.C., daredevil midget-car driver Buzz Mitchell wins an auto race, then beats up a driver who nearly caused him to crash. Later, Buzz's former partner, Mike Douglas, offers him a job driving for his nitroglycerin manufacturing and shipping company, but cocky Buzz turns him down in favor of his more exciting profession. Desperate for drivers because of a new government contract, Mike reluctantly hires Jimmy Baker, his secretary Connie's younger brother, who is determined to earn enough money to marry his fiancée, Doris Lynch. When Buzz shows up unexpectedly at Mike's office, saying that he wants to help out, Mike assigns Jimmy to ride along with him. Connie and Mike's foreman, Squinchy Andrews, soon learn that Buzz was barred from racing due to an accident, but refrain from telling Mike. Although Connie is fond of Mike, she starts dating Buzz, but drops him when she learns that he handles the nitroglycerin carelessly while working with Jimmy. In retaliation, Buzz takes Doris out in an airplane, and Jimmy is forced to take over his shift. Jimmy is killed when the brakes on the truck fail, and a remorseful Buzz tries to quit, but Mike insists that he continue working. When a local oil refinery tank erupts and threatens a munitions factory, the refinery calls Mike for some nitroglycerin, which will extinguish the fire. Mike's supplies are dry, and worried that he could lose business, he and Buzz fly out to pick up more nitroglycerin from another company. Before Buzz leaves, he apologizes to Connie for letting her down. Mike and Buzz make their pick-up, but are prevented by heavy fog from landing the plane when they return. When the plane runs low on gas, Buzz tricks Mike into jumping out by parachute. Buzz then sends his love to Connie by radio, and flies directly into the tank fire. As the plane explodes, the fire extinguishes, and Buzz's self-sacrifice saves Mike's business.