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Speed Crazy (1959) Mediocre print on YouTube

Directed by William J. Hole, Jr.

Pretty boy Brett Halsey plays Nick Barrow, who constantly complains that everyone “crowds” him. He blows away a gas station attendant, while saying “don’t crowd me, Joe.” He then blows into a small town, flirts with a waitress (Jackie Joseph), gets in a fistfight, and wins a car race. Then he moves on to another town, where he gets a job as a mechanic, claiming he is a “domp” – a “doctor of motor parts.” I don’t think that degree was offered when I went to college. When the boss asks him his name, he says “Barrow. I got a brother named Wheel.” He flirts with three chicks (Yvonne Lime, Jaclyn Hellman, and Lucita), and as far as I can tell (for a 1950s movie), manages to reach the checkered flag with Hellman (who is gorgeous, by the way). He enters the big race opposite Lime’s boyfriend. Meanwhile, the police close in.

The dialogue is inane: “You’re a human corkscrew. You couldn’t do anything straight.”

The dialogue is stupid: “How about some alphabet soup on me?” “Thanks, but if it’s all the same to you I’ll have it in a bowl.”

Slick Slavin plays a character named Smiley and sings the title song. Apparently he was a singer and comedian in the late 40s into the early 60s, but he’s not funny and can’t sing worth a crap.

This film has eight things going for it – Joseph, Lime, Hellman, and Lucita. After that, you’re better off watching Demolition Derby.









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1 hour ago, DougieB said:

It's a shame such a sterling film is only available in a mediocre print. I hope the AFI is aware of the problem. 

Yes, this film deserves to be preserved.

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