Born to Be Wild


1h 6m 1938

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 16, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,875ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Truckers Steve Hackett and Bill Purvis are driving home to Los Angeles after an uneventful trip when Steve decides not to shift into low gear and lose speed on the downgrade. They are seen by a company spotter and face automatic dismissal, but Steve is happy that he can finally start the garage he has always wanted. Stopping at a truckers' cafe, Steve tries to impress attractive customer Mary Stevens with his singing, but she is uninterested. Soon he is approached by a stranger who says he must do something upon which thousands of lives may depend. A fight then breaks out in the cafe, and Bill and Steve are rescued by the spotter who says that Mr. Davis, their boss, wants to see them. Davis offers them one thousand dollars to take a load of lettuce to Indian Hills, but doesn't tell them why it is so urgent. On the trip, after being stopped by strikers, Steve and Bill discover that their real cargo is dynamite. Because they are now pursued by unknown assailants, they drive a suspicious car off the road but find that it belongs to Mary. They still don't know what the dynamite is for and suspect that Mary is involved when she has them arrested as kidnappers during a stop in a small town. When the "police" turn out to be the men who are after them, Steve puts a lighted match in a stick of dynamite that he has hidden in his pocket and scares them off. After other encounters, Steve and Bill finally arrive at Indian Head and are again captured. They learn that the dynamite is needed to save the town of Indian Head from flooding when the nearby dam breaks. Only by dynamiting the locks and diverting the water can the disaster be prevented. Land speculator J. Carroll Molloy is anxious to ruin the town, thus increasing the value of his own unaffected property. While being held prisoner, Steve and Bill manage to outwit their captors, but Molloy and Mary arrive soon after. Mary, who is the daughter of a local farmer, pretends to be on Molloy's side and ties Steve up loosely. He breaks through his bonds and manages to escape in the truck with Molloy and his men in close pursuit. With nothing else left to do, Steve and Bill jump out of the truck a moment before it crosses the locks and the dynamite explodes, thus saving the town. Later, Steve tells Mary that she would be a big help in the garage, but Bill tells him that Davis wants them to do one last dangerous job for him. Despite his protests, Steve takes the assignment and he, Bill, Mary and her dog Butch drive on together.

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 16, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,875ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Some character names were missing from the credits in the viewed print. Ralph Byrd, a popular serial star in the 1930s and 1940s, was best known for his portrayal of "Dick Tracy" in several Republic serials. The Variety review of Born to Be Wild noted that Republic seemed to be grooming him for better roles. According to news items, this was director Joe Kane's first "meller," meaning non-Western assignment, and actress Betty Furness was once set for the female lead.