California Straight Ahead (1937)

57 or 67 mins | Drama | 2 May 1937

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Cinematographer:

Harry Neumann

Production Designer:

Ernest R. Hickson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Co.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to contemporary news items, Herman Boxer's original story was called "Short Haul," and he was scheduled to work on the adaptation for the screen. The film's pre-release title was also Short Haul . In Jan 1937, HR noted that the script had been re-written in order to "get around labor trouble." A news item in Var notes that filming was delayed due to Louise Latimer's illness. According to HR news items, Robert McWade replaced Roger Imhof in the cast and infrared film was used to "beat the smudge pot haze" while filming on location in Van Nuys, ... More Less

According to contemporary news items, Herman Boxer's original story was called "Short Haul," and he was scheduled to work on the adaptation for the screen. The film's pre-release title was also Short Haul . In Jan 1937, HR noted that the script had been re-written in order to "get around labor trouble." A news item in Var notes that filming was delayed due to Louise Latimer's illness. According to HR news items, Robert McWade replaced Roger Imhof in the cast and infrared film was used to "beat the smudge pot haze" while filming on location in Van Nuys, CA. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
16 Apr 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 37
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
26 Mar 37
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Feb 37
p. 31.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Apr 37
pp. 40-41.
Variety
30-Jan-37
---
Variety
14 Jul 37
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Trem Carr Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Short Haul
Release Date:
2 May 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
20 April 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7073
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
57 or 67
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3111
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Mary Porter helps get her boyfriend, William "Biff" Smith, fired for transporting cheese and manure in his company's bus, so that he will go into partnership in her brother Charlie's trucking business. Her ruse works, and Biff buys the company bus and joins Charlie. Biff and Charlie compete against Padula, but one day Biff picks a fight with Padula because he sabotages Charlie's truck, and Biff is thrown in jail. Biff meets Fish McCorkle in jail, and adds him to the partnership. When he gets out, he calls Charlie and tells him to cancel the shipment of nitroglycerine he was going to haul. The chemical company refuses to let Charlie out of the deal, however, so he hauls the shipment himself. When Padula passes Charlie on the road, he decides to play a joke on him and changes a "road closed" sign, thereby sending Charlie down a hazardous road. Like his father before him, Charlie is killed when the truck explodes, and because Mary blames Biff for his death, she tells him that she never wants to see him again. Mary and her mother sell their restaurant business and leave town, and Biff is unable to locate them. When a Corrigan Freight Company truck damages Fish and Biff's truck in Chicago, Biff goes straight to the president, A.J. Corrigan, and demands immediate payment so that he can continue to make his scheduled deliveries. Although he is a feisty old man, Corrigan cuts him a check and, impressed with Biff's spirit, hires him. In time, Biff is promoted to traffic superintendant, and in this position, goes to S.E.P. railroad district freight agent ... +


Mary Porter helps get her boyfriend, William "Biff" Smith, fired for transporting cheese and manure in his company's bus, so that he will go into partnership in her brother Charlie's trucking business. Her ruse works, and Biff buys the company bus and joins Charlie. Biff and Charlie compete against Padula, but one day Biff picks a fight with Padula because he sabotages Charlie's truck, and Biff is thrown in jail. Biff meets Fish McCorkle in jail, and adds him to the partnership. When he gets out, he calls Charlie and tells him to cancel the shipment of nitroglycerine he was going to haul. The chemical company refuses to let Charlie out of the deal, however, so he hauls the shipment himself. When Padula passes Charlie on the road, he decides to play a joke on him and changes a "road closed" sign, thereby sending Charlie down a hazardous road. Like his father before him, Charlie is killed when the truck explodes, and because Mary blames Biff for his death, she tells him that she never wants to see him again. Mary and her mother sell their restaurant business and leave town, and Biff is unable to locate them. When a Corrigan Freight Company truck damages Fish and Biff's truck in Chicago, Biff goes straight to the president, A.J. Corrigan, and demands immediate payment so that he can continue to make his scheduled deliveries. Although he is a feisty old man, Corrigan cuts him a check and, impressed with Biff's spirit, hires him. In time, Biff is promoted to traffic superintendant, and in this position, goes to S.E.P. railroad district freight agent James B. Gifford to complain about their slow loading routes. Biff discovers that Jim is an old friend of his and Mary's, and although Jim claims not to know where she is, Mary is actually working as his secretary. Jim gives permission for Biff's trucks to use a different entrance to save time after Biff tells him that two other trucking companies have threatened to pull their business if he does not comply. After Biff leaves, however, Jim calls the other companies and discovers that Biff lied. He orders the gates locked against Biff's trucks, but Biff drives through the gate, causing Jim to pull his business from S.E.P. Corrigan then fires Biff. When a strike threatens to delay the delivery of aviation equipment to a ship on the California coast that is scheduled to depart for Japan, Biff, still concerned about the trucking company, conceives of a plan to haul the equipment with the trucks. This idea is too revolutionary for Corrigan and he refuses to agree to it, so Biff makes the arrangements with Corrigan's workers behind his back. Jim hears of his plan, and loads his trains with the same equipment headed to California to beat Biff's trucks. Corrigan is furious when he discovers that Biff has sent his trucks on a caravan, but rallies for the cause and flies to California to meet them. The trucks and trains fight countless snowdrifts and storms, but finally enter California. Jim plans to legally stop the truck caravan because the company that hired them broke their contract with S.E.P., so he takes Mary, and Padula, whom he has hired, to California to stop them at the border. In order to slow the trucks down so that he can get to the border first, he orders Padula to sabotage the truck brigade by any means. While they are racing to the border, however, their car crashes and overturns. Biff arrives with the ambulance that has been accompanying the caravan, and since Jim is unharmed, they take care of Mary and Padula. Before he dies, Padula confesses to his involvement in Charlie's death, thereby clearing Biff, and reveals Jim's sabotage plans. Mary recovers from her minor injuries, and accompanies Biff, with whom she has reunited. The trucks win the race and deliver the equipment on time. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.