Speed To Spare (1948)

speed to spare 1948

Good B movie about a former stunt car driver now handling the big rigs. The driver he replaced isn’t taking it lightly.

Cliff Jordan (Richard Arlen) gets fired from a daredevil car show after punching out the promoter. He said he didn’t have enough money to pay Cliff and that didn’t go over so well. His old friend Jerry (Richard Travis) manages a trucking company and hires him. Cliff’s former girlfriend Mary (Jean Rogers) is now married to Jerry and thinks Cliff may be too reckless for the job.

Cliff is replacing Pusher Wilkes who shows up with a hangover. Jerry keeps him on as a mechanic because he has six kids and knows he needs the job. Walking across the parking lot Pusher almost runs Cliff over. Cliff pulls him out of the cab and they duke it out until it’s broken up.

Cliff is given written and driving tests. On the road as a student he’s being monitored by former driver Kangaroo (Roscoe Karns). After a crash his reaction time is too slow but he hopes one day to be back on the road. He shows Cliff a device that monitors the activity of the truck from speed to stops.

Kangaroo gets some shut eye. Cliff sees a stranded bus and takes a woman with a baby as a passenger. That’s against the rules. So is speeding when he thinks the baby is sick and needs a doctor in town. The device has it all down but Jerry decides to bury the report in the files.

Things start going well. Cliff spends time flirting with dispatcher Jane Chandler while her trucker boyfriend Pete is on the road. A still resentful Pusher lets the air out of a tire. Cliff is at a truck stop flirting with a waitress and he doesn’t have time to check the tires like the rules state.

On the road the tire starts smoking. Cliff pulls over, changes it and tosses the burnt tire over an embankment. At the office he says someone stole the spare. He doesn’t want Jerry to know he didn’t check them.

One night he finally convinces Jane to go out with him while Pete’s away. That gives Pusher a chance for more sabotage and he loosens the hitch between the trailer and the cab. On the road it becomes uncoupled. The trailer goes over a cliff. Back at the office he comes clean about the tire and is put on probation.

The owner of a chemical company tries to convince Jerry to carry a dangerous cargo but Jerry turns him down. The man makes a side deal with Cliff because he’s driving a refrigerated truck. The acid is put into Cliff’s rig and the thermostat is set to zero. Along comes Pusher.

It’s a good action and suspense ending that makes this one to check out if you’re looking for something a little bit different. It’s always good to see Roscoe Karns.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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