Hot Rods to Hell (1967)

92 mins | Melodrama | 1 February 1967

Director:

John Brahm

Writer:

Robert E. Kent

Producer:

Sam Katzman

Cinematographer:

Lloyd Ahern

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Merrill Pye

Production Company:

Four Leaf Productions
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HISTORY

The picture was originally titled 52 Miles to Terror. It was planned as a made-for-television movie to be produced by Metro-Goldywn-Mayer (MGM) and aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network. However, after viewing the completed film, MGM decided that it would be a profitable theatrical release, and asked ABC to return the picture to them, on condition that another feature-length project would be delivered in its place, as stated in the 24 Jan 1967 DV. An item in the 1 Feb 1967 Var noted that ABC-TV would retain rights to air the film at a later date.
       Although the 2 Mar 1966 Var indicated that Paul Wendkos was set to direct, the following week, an item in the 8 Mar 1966 LAT named John Brahm as director. Filming began shortly after on 23 Mar 1966, according to a 25 Mar 1966 DV production chart. Location scenes were shot in Los Angeles, CA.
       Announcements published in DV between Feb and Apr 1966 listed the following as cast members: Tommy Sands, who was reportedly cast as a “heavy”; Stuart Nisbet; and Margaretta Ramsey. The 13 Apr 1966 Var noted that Lynn Guthrie served as assistant director. ...

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The picture was originally titled 52 Miles to Terror. It was planned as a made-for-television movie to be produced by Metro-Goldywn-Mayer (MGM) and aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network. However, after viewing the completed film, MGM decided that it would be a profitable theatrical release, and asked ABC to return the picture to them, on condition that another feature-length project would be delivered in its place, as stated in the 24 Jan 1967 DV. An item in the 1 Feb 1967 Var noted that ABC-TV would retain rights to air the film at a later date.
       Although the 2 Mar 1966 Var indicated that Paul Wendkos was set to direct, the following week, an item in the 8 Mar 1966 LAT named John Brahm as director. Filming began shortly after on 23 Mar 1966, according to a 25 Mar 1966 DV production chart. Location scenes were shot in Los Angeles, CA.
       Announcements published in DV between Feb and Apr 1966 listed the following as cast members: Tommy Sands, who was reportedly cast as a “heavy”; Stuart Nisbet; and Margaretta Ramsey. The 13 Apr 1966 Var noted that Lynn Guthrie served as assistant director.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1966
p. 2
Daily Variety
25 Feb 1966
p. 2
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1966
p. 12
Daily Variety
5 Apr 1966
p. 4
Daily Variety
24 Jan 1967
p. 1
Daily Variety
25 Jan 1967
p. 1, 4
Los Angeles Times
8 Mar 1966
Section C, p. 12
Los Angeles Times
4 Apr 1966
Section C, p. 29
Los Angeles Times
1 Feb 1967
Section E, p. 12
Los Angeles Times
3 Feb 1967
Section D, p. 13
New York Times
10 Aug 1967
---
Variety
3 Nov 1965
p. 39
Variety
2 Mar 1966
p. 7
Variety
16 Mar 1966
p. 5
Variety
13 Apr 1966
p. 79
Variety
1 Feb 1967
p. 7
Variety
1 Feb 1967
p. 34
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score & cond
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Sp visual eff
Sp visual eff
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Asst to the prod
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Fifty-Two Miles to Terror" by Alex Gaby in The Saturday Evening Post (14 Jan 1956).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
Selected songs, words and music by Fred Karger, Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman, performed by Mickey Rooney, Jr. and His Combo.
PERFORMED BY
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
52 Miles to Terror
Release Date:
1 February 1967
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 1 Feb 1967; New York opening: 9 Aug 1967
Production Date:
began 23 Mar 1966
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Four Leaf Productions
31 December 1966
LP34025
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
92
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Because a serious automobile accident has left him with a back injury, Tom Phillips is advised by his doctor to move to a warm climate. After buying a combination motel-restaurant in the California desert, he sets out for his new home with his wife, Peg, his daughter, Tina, and his small son, Jamie. Since Tom has not yet regained his confidence behind a wheel, Peg drives the family car. As they near their destination, they are passed by three thrill-seeking teenagers--Duke, Ernie and Gloria--who toss a beer can into the Phillips' sedan. Sometime later, Tom encounters one of the boys at a filling station and threatens him with police action. As a result, the young toughs alert their friends and a number of youths soon converge on the Phillips for the remainder of their trip. Once they have reached their destination, they learn that the former owner of the motel allowed the place to be used for teenage drinking orgies. After Duke has tried to seduce Tina, Tom calls off the motel deal and heads for his brother's home, 52 miles away. They are pursued by Duke and Ernie, who are determined to prevent Tom from contacting the police. But the constant hounding eventually proves too much for Tom, and he decides to hold his ground. He parks his car, leaves the headlights on, and causes Duke's souped-up sports car to crash. Suppressing the urge to kill the two hoodlums, Tom offers them the choice of being turned over to the authorities or changing their ways. When a police car pulls up, Duke and Ernie promise to behave like sensible adults in the future. And Tom--his self-confidence restored--goes back ...

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Because a serious automobile accident has left him with a back injury, Tom Phillips is advised by his doctor to move to a warm climate. After buying a combination motel-restaurant in the California desert, he sets out for his new home with his wife, Peg, his daughter, Tina, and his small son, Jamie. Since Tom has not yet regained his confidence behind a wheel, Peg drives the family car. As they near their destination, they are passed by three thrill-seeking teenagers--Duke, Ernie and Gloria--who toss a beer can into the Phillips' sedan. Sometime later, Tom encounters one of the boys at a filling station and threatens him with police action. As a result, the young toughs alert their friends and a number of youths soon converge on the Phillips for the remainder of their trip. Once they have reached their destination, they learn that the former owner of the motel allowed the place to be used for teenage drinking orgies. After Duke has tried to seduce Tina, Tom calls off the motel deal and heads for his brother's home, 52 miles away. They are pursued by Duke and Ernie, who are determined to prevent Tom from contacting the police. But the constant hounding eventually proves too much for Tom, and he decides to hold his ground. He parks his car, leaves the headlights on, and causes Duke's souped-up sports car to crash. Suppressing the urge to kill the two hoodlums, Tom offers them the choice of being turned over to the authorities or changing their ways. When a police car pulls up, Duke and Ernie promise to behave like sensible adults in the future. And Tom--his self-confidence restored--goes back to the motel to give his business venture another try.

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

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