Cast & Crew
One evening, four teenagers, Paul, Arnie, Dirk and Vince, come upon a new Thunderbird sports car and boldly consider taking the car for a joy ride. When the owner, middle-aged Miles, startles the boys and then declines to allow them to drive the car, Paul responds with an outburst of abusive language. Taken aback and frightened, Miles contacts the police, but when he admits he cannot identify the boys, the police declare there is little they can do. A few nights later, Miles discovers the boys trying to break into his garage, but Paul remains scornful and belligerent when Miles threatens to summon the police. Declaring that he will force Miles to allow them access to the car, Paul leads the boys on a campaign to bully Miles into acquiescence. Despite his mounting apprehension, Miles refuses to sign a complaint against two teens whom the police pick up during a stakeout of the neighborhood. Miles later refuses to make a false identification against three other teenagers arrested in a stolen car. Taking pleasure in Miles's increasing fear, however, Paul and the boys soon ignore the pretext of taking the car and one night break into Miles's home, where they set about terrorizing his wife Grace until she collapses. Miles then agrees to meet with Paul to allow him to drive the Thunderbird. On the night of the meeting, Miles surprises the boys by drawing a gun and forcing Paul behind the wheel. Miles makes the increasingly terrified Paul drive faster and faster until the young man pleads to stop. Miles then has Paul drive the car to police headquarters, but once there declines to press charges, certain he has taught the boys a lesson.
Ed Morey Jr.
B. F. Remington
According to information contained in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the script for Joy Ride was initially found unacceptable due to the extreme "antisocial and downright sadistic comportment of the delinquents" and the emphasis of the entire script on the psychological torture with little attention given to the teenagers' apprehension. Correspondence in the file suggests the script was altered, although concern was still expressed by the PCA over the prolonged violence in the story. Hollywood Reporter news items add Marilyn Carroll, William Green, Steve Stevens, Ann Molinari and Gene Streett to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.