Hot Rod Rumble


1h 19m 1957

Brief Synopsis

Arny (Richard Hartunian) joins a hot rod club, but his eccentric mannerisms (a Marlon Brando rip-off performance from "The Wild One" by look-alike Hartunian) make him unpopular. At a party, Terry (Leigh Snowden) rebukes him for his coarseness and centers her attantion on another boy. A fight between the two men is stopped by Jim Lawrence (Brett Halsey), but Ray Johnson (Wright King), pretending friendship with Arny, keeps the antagonism going and tries to win Terry for himself. Driving home, Hank and Terry are harassed by a hot rod which they think is driver by Arny. Swerving to avaid a collision, they are thrown from the car, and Hank is killed and Terry badly injured and unconscious. Ray, the actual driver of the hot rod, carries Terry to his car, but frightned by approaching vehicles, he returns her to the wreckage and flees. All, including Terry, blane Arny for the wreck, but there is no proof. Vindictive club members destroy Arny's car and beat him mercilessly. He rebuild his car for the big race. Terry goes to the race with Ray and, in his car she finds an earring she lost in the accident and realizes it was Ray who drove the fatal car. Arny wins the race, sour disposition and all, wins the race and Terry forces Ray to admit the truth about the wreck.

Film Details

Release Date
May 12, 1957
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 8 May 1957
Production Company
Nacirema Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 19m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,123ft

Synopsis

Arny Crawford, an auto mechanic and a top driver with the Road Devils hot rod racing club, goes to a club-sponsored party to try to reconcile with his girl friend, Terry Warren, with whom he has quarreled over his coarse behavior. During the party Benny, the club's president, announces that elimination races will be held shortly to select two Road Devil members to compete in the upcoming $1,500 Sweepstakes Race. When Terry dances with member Hank Adams, Arny tries to cut in on him, but Terry wants nothing more to do with Arny, stating that he is no gentleman. After Arny tries to start a fight with Hank and rival driver Jim Lawrence, Benny persuades Arny to leave peacefully. Ray Johnson, Arny's friend, then tries to pick up Terry, but she rejects him and leaves with Hank. As Hank drives Terry home, they are followed by a car and assume that the driver is Arny, but it is actually Ray, who attempts to force them off the country road. Ray eventually causes a crash in which Hank is killed and Terry injured. Panic-stricken, Ray places the semi-conscious Terry in his car, then changes his mind, returns her to the wrecked car and drives away. Ray is unaware that, during the brief time Terry was in his car, one of her earrings fell to the floor. Later, the police find the wreck and transport Terry to a hospital while Ray repairs the damage to the body of his car. The next day, when Arny attempts to visit Terry in the hospital, she accuses him of being responsible for the crash. Most of the Road Devils, urged on by Jim, assume that Arny caused Hank's death, and hostiley reject him. When Arny returns home to his anxious parents, a police officer interviews him but Arny can offer no alibi for the time of the accident because he was driving alone. Arny then goes to the gas station where Ray works and asks if he can move in with him, but Ray says that his parents would not want him around. That same day, Terry, recovered from her minor injuries, checks out of the hospital and notices that one of her earrings is missing. When Arny again tries to convince Terry that he had nothing to do with the accident, he is warned by her father to stay away from her. To the club members' surprise, Arny shows up to compete in the elimination races and Jim, after ordering Ray to distract Arny momentarily, sabotages Arny's car by pouring a grinding compound into the crankcase. Arny's engine survives long enough to allow him to win the heat, thus making him eligible to compete in the Sweepstakes Race against Jim, if he can repair his car in time. Things look bleak for Arny after Ray refuses to lend him money for repairs and he is fired from the garage where he has been working and sleeping. Meanwhile, Ray meets Terry at the clubhouse and after she tells him that she has a faint recollection of being carried somewhere immediately after the accident, she apologizes to him for her behavior. They then agree to be friends and Ray offers to escort her to the race finals. To prevent Arny from competing in the race, Jim and three other club members savagely beat him and force Ray to join them. Undeterred, Arny convinces a used auto-parts dealer to give him parts and a work area, thereby allowing him to fix his car in time for the fifty-mile cross-country race. As Terry arrives at the starting area, she discovers her missing earring in Ray's car and accuses him of causing the crash. Ray tells Terry that he never meant to hurt anyone and begs her to keep his secret, fearing that Arny will kill him. Despite several attempts by Jim to run Arny off the road, Arny wins the race and is awarded the $1,500 check and a trophy. Suddenly, all the Road Devils, alerted by Terry, approach Arny and Benny forces Ray to confess that he was responsible for the fatal accident. After Terry manages to persuade Arny not to retaliate violently against the club members, she apologizes to him, tells him that she loves him and they drive away together.

Film Details

Release Date
May 12, 1957
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 8 May 1957
Production Company
Nacirema Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 19m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,123ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, Hollywood Reporter news items add Sid Froehlich and Alfred Linder to the cast.