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An Italian bus driver decides to join the European champion racing circuit and meets a ballerina who supports him to get there.
On the day of the qualifying runs for the Grand Prix at Monte Carlo, race car driver Gino Borgesa meets ballerina Nicole Laurent, when she gives him a hairpin to repair an engine part. Both the arrogant, ambitious Gino and the lovely Nicole are immediately attracted to each other, but after Gino has qualified and is making another lap to break the record time, Nicole's poodle runs into the road and Gino's car is destroyed when he swerves to avoid the dog. That night, Nicole sends for Gino and apologizes, and Gino, who does not race for any of companies such as Ferrari or Mazzarati, bitterly states that only money can repair his lost dream of becoming Europe's greatest racer. When Gino drives Nicole to her hotel, he warns her to stay where she belongs, but Nicole replies that she belongs to herself. Later that night, Count Paul Salom, Nicole's friend and former lover, realizes that Nicole has fallen hard for Gino and gives her the money to buy him a new car. Soon after, Nicole is in the cheering section as Gino and his mechanic, Piero, drive in Italy's thousand-mile Mille Miglia race. Gino's main competition is veteran driver Dell `Oro, of the famed Team Burano, and despite a cracked battery, Gino wins the race. Maglio, Burano's manager, is wary of Gino's "flashy" driving, but Carlos Chavez, another veteran team member, urges him to hire Gino as a reserve driver. That night, Gino tells Nicole that she should leave him before his love for her makes him overly cautious when he races, and before worry over his safety threatens her well-being. Nicole insists that she is a "big girl" and will know when to leave, and soon, Gino joins Burano and Nicole becomes friends with Maria, Carlos' wife. In Germany, Nicole is horrified when a mechanic is accidentally killed on the track, but an elated Gino, who placed third in the race, caustically tells her that such accidents are normal risks of the game. Nicole admits that it is time for her to leave Gino, but cannot resist attending his next race in Brussels, in which Gino is injured in a crash. At the hospital, Dr. Segers, mistaking Nicole for Gino's wife, tells her that the unconscious Gino is in serious danger of death unless his leg is amputated, and that she must make the decision. Knowing that Gino would be unable to live without racing, Nicole orders the doctor not to amputate, and luckily, Gino lives. Nicole nurses Gino back to health, and although he is left with a limp and tremendous pain in his leg, his desire to race remains unabated. The next season, Nicole begs Maglio to allow Gino to return to the team, and despite Maglio's lingering distaste for Gino's driving tactics, he reinstates Gino. During the Grand Prix di Monza, Dell `Oro is injured and unable to relieve Gino, who is forced to finish the long, grueling race alone. Despite the pain, Gino wins, and as the season progresses, Gino climbs to the top of the world champion official list. Gino's reputation as a ruthless daredevil with no consideration for the safety of others also grows, as does his reliance on painkillers. At the beginning of the new season, in Monte Carlo, sportswriter Dahlgren teases Gino about almost being beaten by an unknown, French driver Michel Caron, and when the admiring Michel introduces himself, Gino cruelly tells the young man that he needs more than luck to become a good driver. Nicole is infuriated by Gino's cavalier attitude, and when Gino and Dell `Oro leave to test-drive a new car, Michel rescues her from the advances of the amorous Baron Vandam. Late that night, when Gino returns, Nicole begs him to take some time off, but he refuses. Soon after, at Nüburgring, Germany, the team hosts a special race to celebrate Carlos' retirement. Although Gino and Carlos are good friends, and Maglio has ordered the other team drivers to allow Carlos to win, Gino's overwhelming competitiveness is sparked when Michel, now a reserve driver for the team, enters the race. Gino's recklessness in his quest for victory forces Carlos off the track, and an enraged Maria tells Nicole that she has to leave Gino for her own good. When Gino tries to blame Carlos for the accident, Nicole scornfully rejects his excuses and storms off. Months later, Gino has fallen to number seven in the world standings, and goes to Monte Carlo to beg Nicole to return to him. Nicole, who is now being romanced by Michel, accuses Gino of being obsessed by winning, and refuses. Later, at the same Monte Carlo race in which he met Nicole, Gino struggles to maintain the lead. When Dell `Oro spins off the track, however, Gino leaves the competition to tend to his injured friend. After Dell `Oro is taken off in an ambulance, Gino re-enters the race, and during a pit stop, is informed by Maglio that his friend will recover. Nicole, who has joined the audience, smiles her approval at Gino for sacrificing the race to help his teammate, and despite the fact that he cannot win, Gino happily returns to the track behind the triumphant Michel.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 4 Feb 1955|
|Release Date:||1955||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (DeLuxe)||Distributions Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Sound:||Stereo||Production Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
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One of the Best Racing Movies Ever
Ray Isaacs II 2006-06-01
This was one of the first stereo sound movies and the in-theater experience was impressive. I believe the VHS version is cut since the original version...