Hell Drivers


1h 48m 1957
Hell Drivers

Brief Synopsis

A trucker tangles with a corrupt boss and his thugs.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Action
Crime
Thriller
Release Date
1957
Production Company
J Arthur Rank Organization
Distribution Company
J Arthur Rank Organization

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.96 : 1

Synopsis

An ex-con tries to go clean and gets a job working as a truck driver, when he discovers that his peers in the union are scamming money by creating phantom drivers on the payroll and splitting the extra cash amongst themselves.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Action
Crime
Thriller
Release Date
1957
Production Company
J Arthur Rank Organization
Distribution Company
J Arthur Rank Organization

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 48m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.96 : 1

Articles

Hell Drivers (1957)


Hell Drivers (1957), directed by Cy Endfield, is a hard-charging little picture laced with a heavy dose of working class grit. Over the years, it's developed a cult following among British cinema enthusiasts. Stanley Baker stars as Tom Yately, a newly released convict who rather suspiciously insists that everyone he meets call him "Joe". It's obvious that Joe (or Tom, if you want to push your luck) is in desperate need of work, so he accepts a job as a driver with a shady trucking company. He and his co-workers are instructed to barrel around at top speed, constantly monitoring their clocks while delivering as much gravel as possible before the end of a shift. Safety takes a distinct back seat to profits with this organization.

Soon, Joe finds himself squaring off with the lead driver, a borderline psychopath named Red (Patrick McGoohan). Baker's gift for understatement generates considerable tension when paired with McGoohan's primal viciousness. Eventually, Joe and Red's distaste for each other leads to a violent but satisfying showdown.

Oddly enough, Hell Drivers was a breeding ground for future TV and motion picture spies. McGoohan went on to star in a BBC series called Danger Man. (It also aired for one season in the U.S., although Americans mostly remember its Johnny Rivers-sung theme song, Secret Agent Man). A young actor named Sean Connery - later, of course, to gain worldwide fame as James Bond - can be seen as one of the truckers that gives Baker a hard time. And, last but not least, Baker's brother is played by David McCallum, the fair-haired super-spy from The Man from U.N.C.L.E..)

Herbert Lom, who co-starred as Inspector Dreyfuss in Blake Edwards' Pink Panther movies, also appears as one of the truckers. But Dreyfuss, for his part, secretly fought Inspector Clouseau, rather than enemy agents.

Director Cy Endfield was a South African who got his start in Hollywood directing short subjects at MGM and later B-movies for Monogram. Unfortunately, his filmmaking career in the U.S. was cut short when he was identified as a communist by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951. Industry blacklisting forced him to relocate to England where he eventually rebuilt his career in the early sixties, forming a production company with Stanley Baker; Zulu (1964) and Sands of the Kalahari (1965) were their best-known films.

Directed by: Cy Endfield
Producer: Benjamin Fisz
Screenplay: Cy Endfield and John Kruse
Cinematography: Geoffrey Unsworth
Editing: John D. Guthridge
Music: Hubert Clifford
Art Direction: Ernest Archer
Costume Design: Yvonne Caffin
Cast: Stanley Baker (Tom/Joe Yately), Patrick McGoohan (Red), David McCallum (Jimmy), Herbert Lom (Gino), Sean Connery (Johnny), Jill Ireland (Jill).
C-104m.

by Paul Tatara

Hell Drivers (1957)

Hell Drivers (1957)

Hell Drivers (1957), directed by Cy Endfield, is a hard-charging little picture laced with a heavy dose of working class grit. Over the years, it's developed a cult following among British cinema enthusiasts. Stanley Baker stars as Tom Yately, a newly released convict who rather suspiciously insists that everyone he meets call him "Joe". It's obvious that Joe (or Tom, if you want to push your luck) is in desperate need of work, so he accepts a job as a driver with a shady trucking company. He and his co-workers are instructed to barrel around at top speed, constantly monitoring their clocks while delivering as much gravel as possible before the end of a shift. Safety takes a distinct back seat to profits with this organization. Soon, Joe finds himself squaring off with the lead driver, a borderline psychopath named Red (Patrick McGoohan). Baker's gift for understatement generates considerable tension when paired with McGoohan's primal viciousness. Eventually, Joe and Red's distaste for each other leads to a violent but satisfying showdown. Oddly enough, Hell Drivers was a breeding ground for future TV and motion picture spies. McGoohan went on to star in a BBC series called Danger Man. (It also aired for one season in the U.S., although Americans mostly remember its Johnny Rivers-sung theme song, Secret Agent Man). A young actor named Sean Connery - later, of course, to gain worldwide fame as James Bond - can be seen as one of the truckers that gives Baker a hard time. And, last but not least, Baker's brother is played by David McCallum, the fair-haired super-spy from The Man from U.N.C.L.E..) Herbert Lom, who co-starred as Inspector Dreyfuss in Blake Edwards' Pink Panther movies, also appears as one of the truckers. But Dreyfuss, for his part, secretly fought Inspector Clouseau, rather than enemy agents. Director Cy Endfield was a South African who got his start in Hollywood directing short subjects at MGM and later B-movies for Monogram. Unfortunately, his filmmaking career in the U.S. was cut short when he was identified as a communist by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951. Industry blacklisting forced him to relocate to England where he eventually rebuilt his career in the early sixties, forming a production company with Stanley Baker; Zulu (1964) and Sands of the Kalahari (1965) were their best-known films. Directed by: Cy Endfield Producer: Benjamin Fisz Screenplay: Cy Endfield and John Kruse Cinematography: Geoffrey Unsworth Editing: John D. Guthridge Music: Hubert Clifford Art Direction: Ernest Archer Costume Design: Yvonne Caffin Cast: Stanley Baker (Tom/Joe Yately), Patrick McGoohan (Red), David McCallum (Jimmy), Herbert Lom (Gino), Sean Connery (Johnny), Jill Ireland (Jill). C-104m. by Paul Tatara

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Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1958

Released in United States 1997

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Pre-Millenial Tension) September 26 - October 12, 1997.

VistaVision

Released in United States 1958

Released in United States 1997 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Pre-Millenial Tension) September 26 - October 12, 1997.)