Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


John Bromfield and Joi Lansing
HOT CARS (1956). Director: Donald McDougall.

Nick Dunn (John Bromfield) is a used car salesman with a wife, Jane (Carol Shannon), and a young son. When he learns that his new boss, Arthur Markel (Ralph Clanton), is dealing in stolen cars, Nick decides he wants out -- until his son gets sick and he wonders how to pay the hospital bills. Nick goes back to Markel, but a cop named Davenport (Dabbs Greer) comes in one afternoon and wants to buy -- a hot car. Hot Cars is a typically cheap Bel-Air production but it benefits from location filming, some good performances, and a climactic battle inside a rushing roller coaster car. Mark Dana also makes an impression as the dangerous hood, Smiley Ward, while Joi Lansing [The Atomic Submarine], as the "niece" of Markel, is primarily decorative but certainly fills out her evening gown. Bromfield and Greer [Young and Dangerous] give solid performances. Bromfield [Crime Against Joe], who usually played sexy bad boys, doesn't get much lovin' in this, although Lansing gives him a hot smooch or two.

Verdict: Minor meller but fast-paced and well-acted. **1/2.

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