Speedtrap (1978)

PG | 98 mins | Drama | 3 May 1978

Director:

Earl Bellamy

Producer:

Howard Pine

Cinematographer:

Dennis Dalzell

Editor:

Michael Vejar

Production Designer:

Fredric Hope
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HISTORY

Although several sources, including the 20 Apr 1977 Var and the 6 Jun 1977 Box, listed Fred Mintz as producer, he is credited onscreen as a co-producer. Additionally, Box reported Bob Davis as a stunt coordinator, but his name does not appear in onscreen credits.
       Scheduled to begin principal photography 25 Apr 1977 in Phoenix, AZ, according to a news item in the 13 Apr 1977 Var, the production was filming as of 28 Apr 1977, as reported by that day’s DV. An article in the 4 Aug 1977 DV mentioned that the picture was finished.
       Although the 13 Apr 1977 Var stated that the Strengholt-Basehart Group in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, financed Speedtrap, the 4 Aug 1977 DV reported that the film was the first joint production in a co-financing deal between production company First Artists Productions (FAP) and its Dutch partner, Intertamar.
       In the 22 Jun 1977 DV, an advertisement for the Governor’s Motion Picture Development Office in Phoenix, AZ, stated FAP would release Speedtrap Fall 1977. However, an article in the 4 Aug 1977 DV reported that FAP planned to release the film domestically Spring 1978. According to the 26 Apr 1978 Var and production notes in AMPAS library files, Speedtrap opened in Los Angeles, CA, 3 May 1978.
       While the 5 Jun 1978 Box found the stunts in Speedtrap to be “the real star,” the 5 May 1978 LAT called it “a very silly ... More Less

Although several sources, including the 20 Apr 1977 Var and the 6 Jun 1977 Box, listed Fred Mintz as producer, he is credited onscreen as a co-producer. Additionally, Box reported Bob Davis as a stunt coordinator, but his name does not appear in onscreen credits.
       Scheduled to begin principal photography 25 Apr 1977 in Phoenix, AZ, according to a news item in the 13 Apr 1977 Var, the production was filming as of 28 Apr 1977, as reported by that day’s DV. An article in the 4 Aug 1977 DV mentioned that the picture was finished.
       Although the 13 Apr 1977 Var stated that the Strengholt-Basehart Group in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, financed Speedtrap, the 4 Aug 1977 DV reported that the film was the first joint production in a co-financing deal between production company First Artists Productions (FAP) and its Dutch partner, Intertamar.
       In the 22 Jun 1977 DV, an advertisement for the Governor’s Motion Picture Development Office in Phoenix, AZ, stated FAP would release Speedtrap Fall 1977. However, an article in the 4 Aug 1977 DV reported that FAP planned to release the film domestically Spring 1978. According to the 26 Apr 1978 Var and production notes in AMPAS library files, Speedtrap opened in Los Angeles, CA, 3 May 1978.
       While the 5 Jun 1978 Box found the stunts in Speedtrap to be “the real star,” the 5 May 1978 LAT called it “a very silly movie.”
       According to a 7 Aug 1979 press release from the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Speedtrap was scheduled to air on the CBS television network 4 Sep 1979 in its broadcast television debut. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Jun 1977.
---
Box Office
5 Jun 1978.
---
Daily Variety
15 Apr 1977
p. 17.
Daily Variety
20 Apr 1977
p. 3.
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1977.
---
Daily Variety
22 Jun 1977
p. 7.
Daily Variety
4 Aug 1977
p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
5 May 1978
p. 19.
Variety
13 Apr 1977
p. 26.
Variety
20 Apr 1977.
---
Variety
3 Aug 1977
p. 3, 33.
Variety
26 Apr 1978
p. 4, 30.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
First Artists Presents
A First Artists-Intertamar Co-Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr / Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp, arr & cond by
Mus supv
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Scr supv
Prod coord
Casting
Film processing by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
Title song by Anthony Harris, sung by Dianne Marchal.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 May 1978
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 May 1978
Production Date:
began 25 April 1977 in Phoenix, AZ
Copyright Claimant:
First Artists Production Company, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
15 June 1978
Copyright Number:
PA31374
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

As an elusive thief dubbed “The Roadrunner” continues stealing luxury cars and flummoxing the police by jamming their radio signals, the city council pressures police Captain Francis Hogan to catch the criminal quickly. Hogan learns that several insurance companies have combined their resources to hire private investigator Pete Novick to work on the case. To establish communication between the investigator and the police, Hogan introduces Novick to young policewoman “Nifty” Nolan, but the two already know each other socially. When the Roadrunner steals another car, police discover the bandit can remotely operate and open the doors of vehicles. Meanwhile, drug dealer Al Spillano phones Captain Hogan and discusses Hogan’s warehouse, the arrival and distribution of profitable packages, and a payoff for the captain. Later, Nifty alerts Novick that the police are chasing a speeding car that could be the Roadrunner. Novick joins the chase and overtakes the vehicle only to discover the driver is not the thief. Elsewhere, Spillano’s henchman, Larry Loomis, picks up a drug shipment and leaves it in a Lincoln Continental at an airport parking lot. Before the courier can retrieve the package, however, the Roadrunner steals the car. When Spillano hears of the theft, he calls Hogan. He demands that the captain recover the car, since it contains $1 million of heroin, and the two men wonder how the thief knew about the drugs. Novick and Billy, his friend and partner in an automobile repair shop, take a call from the Roadrunner who informs them of the Lincoln’s location. That night, on the way to pick up the car, Billy and Novick consider ... +


As an elusive thief dubbed “The Roadrunner” continues stealing luxury cars and flummoxing the police by jamming their radio signals, the city council pressures police Captain Francis Hogan to catch the criminal quickly. Hogan learns that several insurance companies have combined their resources to hire private investigator Pete Novick to work on the case. To establish communication between the investigator and the police, Hogan introduces Novick to young policewoman “Nifty” Nolan, but the two already know each other socially. When the Roadrunner steals another car, police discover the bandit can remotely operate and open the doors of vehicles. Meanwhile, drug dealer Al Spillano phones Captain Hogan and discusses Hogan’s warehouse, the arrival and distribution of profitable packages, and a payoff for the captain. Later, Nifty alerts Novick that the police are chasing a speeding car that could be the Roadrunner. Novick joins the chase and overtakes the vehicle only to discover the driver is not the thief. Elsewhere, Spillano’s henchman, Larry Loomis, picks up a drug shipment and leaves it in a Lincoln Continental at an airport parking lot. Before the courier can retrieve the package, however, the Roadrunner steals the car. When Spillano hears of the theft, he calls Hogan. He demands that the captain recover the car, since it contains $1 million of heroin, and the two men wonder how the thief knew about the drugs. Novick and Billy, his friend and partner in an automobile repair shop, take a call from the Roadrunner who informs them of the Lincoln’s location. That night, on the way to pick up the car, Billy and Novick consider then reject the possibility that the Roadrunner is a woman. Novick searches the Lincoln, finds it empty and starts driving away, but is immediately pursued by another car. When the two vehicles collide, Novick escapes just before an explosion destroys both cars. Before Novick can get help, Loomis and another henchman drive up and attack him. Novick escapes, then steals a Cadillac to get away as the two thugs follow in their car. Novick drives to a party he knows Nifty is attending, takes her aside and tells her about his night. Nifty reveals that she knows Hogan is involved in Spillano’s drug ring because Hogan is her stepfather. After her mother died, Nifty maintained correspondence with her inventor father and noticed that his letters sounded increasingly paranoid, declaring Hogan’s involvement with Spillano and implicating the captain in her mother’s death. When her father was shot and killed, Nifty knew Hogan was involved but she had no proof. Nifty divulges to Novick that the police learned Spillano owned the Lincoln. When Novick emerges from the party, Loomis forces him to drive to Spillano’s home, where the drug dealer demands his valise of drugs. When Novick insists there was no such valise in the Lincoln, he and Spillano surmise the Roadrunner must have taken it. Should he catch the Roadrunner, Novick pledges to bring the thief to Spillano before taking him to the police. The next day, Novick gets a call about a stolen automobile heading his way. Novick gives chase but loses the vehicle and damages his car in the process. Billy gives Novick a Rolls Royce to drive while he repairs Novick’s car. Later that day, Novick discovers the Roadrunner nearby and finally traps the thief in a culvert. Novick unmasks the Roadrunner to find Nifty. As Novick and Nifty drive away, she explains that Hogan learned about her father’s remote car door opening device and tried to force him to sell it to Spillano. When her father refused, Hogan and Spillano had him killed, but prior to his death, he instructed Nifty on how to find and use the device. After admitting she hid all of the stolen cars and Spillano’s heroin in town, Nifty and Novick recover Novick’s car and drive to the location of the stolen vehicles. Unaware that Hogan is following them, Nifty leads Novick to Hogan’s warehouse, but when they arrive, Hogan surprises them and shoots at Novick, who knocks him unconscious. Novick and Nifty put Hogan in the Rolls Royce. Hearing shots fired over the police radio, Spillano and Loomis go to the warehouse to demand the heroin. Regaining consciousness, Hogan finds the drugs in the Rolls Royce and tries to signal Spillano, but Loomis shoots and kills the captain by mistake. In the ensuing gunfight, Novick shoots Loomis and Novick and Nifty shoot Spillano, whose car explodes before he can escape. Novick sends Nifty away and faces the approaching police alone. Later, Nifty and Novick meet for dinner and he admits he left her name out of his report. No one will ever connect her to the Roadrunner. When Novick invites Nifty and her car-opening device to take an overseas vacation with him, she realizes he is blackmailing her. The two kiss. +

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

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