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Roadracers (1959).

April 8, 2011

The Scoop:
A soap opera on wheels, “Roadracers” tells the story of estranged father and son race car drivers who struggle to reconcile against the backdrop of a pair of overly-complicated interlocking love triangles — oh yeah, and a lot of race footage, too. If you can picture William Shatner in “As the World Turns,” you can imagine the caliber of acting and turgid melodrama on display here.

This film was among a whole slew of cheap, profitable teen-oriented drive-in flicks churned out by American International Pictures in the late 1950s and early 1960s. And although most of those movies are still well-remembered today, “Roadracers” has mostly fallen by the wayside. I suppose that’s mostly due to the predictable and cliché-ridden central story, and the fact that it’s so heavily padded with extra racing footage.

But it’s that racing footage that holds the real interest here, especially for gearheads and car nuts. There are classic Austin Healeys, Ferraris, Porsches and Triumphs galore, along with plenty of other vintage hot rods from the time. It’s all stock footage of actual grand prix races that weren’t staged for the movie. There’s so much of it that it actually drags down the main story, but that may be for the best, since the story isn’t the main reason to watch this one.

Best Line:
“It’s the horsepower inside a man that really counts!”

Side Note:
Written and produced by Stanley Kallis, who was also one of the creators behind the original “Mission: Impossible” and “Hawaii Five-O” TV series.

Companion Viewing:
“The Lively Set” (1964).

Internet Movie Cars Database.

Take a Look:
I was unable to turn up any clips for this one, sadly.

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