The Roar of the Crowd


1h 11m 1953

Brief Synopsis

Johnny Tracy (Howard Duff), son of veteran race driver Pop Tracy (Harry Shannon), is working his way up on the racing circuit, but is urged by his sweetheart, Marcy Parker (Helene Stanley), to give up the track if he wants to marry her. He persuades her to marry him on the promise that he will quit after racing once in the Indaanapolis 500, but he is injured in a qualifying race and goes to work as a spark plug salesman for Mackey (Minor Watson), an old family friend. He is a failure at selling but Marcy changes her attitude towards his racing, and he qualifies for the 500. Race-car drivers Johnnie Parsons, Duke Nalon, Manuel Ayulo (not the actor Manuel Ayuso) and Henry Banks play themselves.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Indianapolis Story, The Roaring Crowd
Release Date
May 31, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Allied Artists Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Cinecolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,258ft

Synopsis

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's five-hundred mile Memorial Day Classic race, the sentimental choice to win is Johnny Tracy, who is driving with an injured leg. As he competes, Johnny recalls that his professional racing career began when he was driving his jalopy at Daytona Beach in Florida: Johnny's racing partner is his father Sam, a former race car driver. As Sam and their mechanic Buster Sands watch the Daytona race, Sam's old friend Cyrus Mackey, a sparkplug manufacturer, pays him a surprise visit. Cy is impressed by Johnny's skill and after he wins the race, Cy invites Johnny and Sam to see his new race car, which he plans to race as advertising for his business. Afterward, Johnny takes a train to Sunnydale, Ohio, to visit his girl friend, Marcy Parker, who works as a teacher at an orphanage. The boys at the orphanage are ardent fans of Johnny, but when Johnny dreams of a day when Marcy will join him at the track, she reminds him that she will never attend one of his races. At the next race in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Johnny becomes the third car in a pile-up on the track and although he escapes safely, his car is destroyed by fire. The news is not all bad, however, as Sam has just received a telegram from Cy asking Johnny to drive his new car in the next race at Syracuse, New York. Johnny is so excited that he will be competing professionally that he immediately travels to Sunnydale to propose to Marcy. Marcy refuses him, however, because she believes racing is too dangerous for her to tolerate. Johnny drives recklessly in Syracuse and wins the race, earning congratulations from professional racers such as Chuck Baylor, who invites him to join the other racers for drinks at a bar. There, Johnny meets race car driver Tuffy Adams' wife Rose, who explains how difficult it is being married to a driver. Later that night, Johnny learns that his own mother disliked his father's racing career as well, and he changes mind and proposes again to Marcy, this time promising to quit racing after he competes at the Indianapolis 500. Johnny and Marcy are soon married and although Cy gives them a wedding gift of a multiple year contract, Johnny announces his plans to quit. Johnny's career continues to improve and he finally competes at Indianapolis, but he crashes his car and is severely injured. Although his left leg is crushed, Johnny is able to recuperate over a period of six months, during which time Marcy rents them a home in Sunnydale, where his father and Buster open a garage. Johnny goes to work as a salesman for Cy but lacks the talent to succeed at the job. When Chuck invites Johnny and Marcy to a race at the Springfield track, Johnny is surprised when his fellow drivers publicly present him with a gold watch as a testimonial. By Christmas, Johnny has become frustrated by his job and when a favorite orphan named Shorty gives him a toy racetrack as a gift, Johnny gets angry. Marcy realizes that Johnny will never be happy without racing in his life, so she secretly asks Cy to hire him back as a driver. Cy refuses, however, because of Johnny's injury and because he has already hired another driver. Marcy then consults with Sam and Buster, and they decide to use her savings, as well as a loan from Cy, to build a car for Johnny. One day, Marcy takes Johnny to the garage and surprises him with the car, telling him it is her wedding present. Johnny is stunned by his wife's change of heart. Now at the Indianapolis 500, Johnny must call on his stamina merely to complete the race because his leg still pains him. Although someone else wins the race, Johnny comes in ninth and is hailed as a hero by the crowds, while Marcy assures him he will win the next year.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Indianapolis Story, The Roaring Crowd
Release Date
May 31, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Allied Artists Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Cinecolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,258ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were The Indianapolis Story and The Roaring Crowd. Although this film was shot in color, the viewed print was black and white. Pre-production news items add the following information about the production: David Diamond was slated to produce the film for Monogram, however, his contribution to the final film has not been determined. Shooting was delayed in order to obtain the appropriate racing cars for the film.
       Race car driver Johnnie Parsons, who appears in the film as himself, was to act as technical advisor on the film, however, only Lewis Durant received onscreen credit in this capacity. The May 23, 1953 Harrrison's Reports review as well as a plot synopsis in copyright records indicate that there was a sequence in which the character "Tuffy Adams" is killed during a race. However, this scene was not included in the viewed print nor is it mentioned in any other reviews.