Sunday, August 30, 2015

JOHNNY DARK (1954)



This Universal International release is a fast-paced film about a talented, young and ambitious automobile engineer working for an independent manufacturer. An outstanding poster illustration tells all you need to know about this movie. 

It is an early “vehicle” for Tony Curtis, which co-stars his love interest, also on a career upswing, Piper Laurie, as an up and coming automotive designer. The only ground-breaking aspect of the film. Most of the film includes the mundane happenings of engine tests with racing being a good barometer for improving automobiles. The stodgy automotive CEO wants no part of any sports car in his lineup, however, demanding employees stick with cars that seat six, the standard American family. By film’s end, he softens his stand, finding a place for a sporty model in the company’s roster after our hero wins a major race in one. Worth a look for vintage automotive enthusiasts as there are real driving sequences in actual period sports cars. Interesting if not exciting. Beyond that it is standard fare for the period with studio backdrop shots of Curtis “speeding” ahead of the stock studio backdrop competition. 

I imagine this was a must see for teen fans of Curtis and Laurie with many licensed drivers leaving the theater wanting to get their hands on a Jaguar XK120.

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