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'The Racer' movie (merged)


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#1 lynmeredith

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 01:42

I just bought a copy of 'The Racer' by Hans Ruesch. I know nothing of Ruesch other than what is printed on the book jacket and can find little reference to him on TNF other than in entry lists.

The 'blurb reads: "Hans Ruesch began his racing career at nineteen and competed in more than 100 events, sometimes as an 'independent' and sometimes as a member of the famous Ferrari stable. He won 27 races, among them the Grand Prix of Donington in England, the GP of Bucharest, the Finnish GP, the British Mountain Championship, [what that?] closed circuits on the frozen lakes of Eibsee and Titisee in Germany and hill climbs all over Europe. He has also twice held the world record for the 'kilometre with standing start' which he rested from the late John Cobb. Born of an Italian mother and a Swiss father and raised in Italy, Hans Ruesch now divides his time between Italy and the United States."

My copy of 'The Racer' is dated 1955 and I believe a movie was based on the book. Did he write anything else? And has anyone seen the movie? Any other info?

Regards, Lyn M

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#2 Ian McKean

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 01:54

Originally posted by lynmeredith
...I believe a movie was based on the book. Did he write anything else? And has anyone seen the movie? Any other info?

Regards, Lyn M


Not sure but I have had the book since I was a boy, and re-read a few months ago and think it's brilliant. The characterisations and atmosphere are really convincing. You will enjoy reading this book.

#3 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 03:06

Hans Rüesch was a wealthy private driver who began racing in 1932 with MG at the Klausenrennen when he was only 19. During the thirties he drove several Alfa Romeo and Maserati racing and sports cars at many smaller events all over Europe and also was part of the 1937 South Africa series. During the early fifties he was seen in a Ferrari 4.1-liter MM sports car and stopped racing after an accident to devote his time to writing.

Top of the World (life in the far, far north), 1950
The Racer, Ballantine Books, 1953 Hardback
Rennfahrer, Hamburg, Rowohlt, 1955
The great thirst, Hutchinson, 1957
Der schwarze Durst, Ullstein, Berlin 1959
The Savage Innocents, 1960
The Stealers, London: Hutchinson, 1962
Back to the Top of the World, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973
Iglus in der Nacht, Fischer, Frankfurt/Main, 1974
Arab, New York: Ballantine, 1974
Slaughter of the Innocent: Animals in Medical Research, New York, Bantam, 1978
Naked Empress or The Great Medical Fraud, CIVIS, 1982.
Die Pharma Story, München, Hirthammer, 1985
1000 Doctors Against Vivisection, Massagno, Switzerland, 1989

#4 lynmeredith

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 03:45

Thanks Hans, quite a prolific writer I see and not just on motor racing.

Ian, I hope I do enjoy it, it cost me $2!

LDM

#5 Rob29

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 07:00

The 'Britsh Mountain Championship' was a race series at Brooklands in 1930s never found out why it was called that as the place is as flat as an airfield!
The movie based on 'The Racers' was called 'Such Men are Dangerous' when released in UK.

#6 lynmeredith

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 09:52

Well, well!

I did a Google search for Hans Ruesch. There are hundreds of references and most of them are to his work as an activist against vivisection and medical fraud. He is described as a 'Swiss medical historian'. Hans' booklist suggests this interest and it seems he established a foundation to fight against animal-experiments in medical science.

Apparently he bought Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C nr. 50013 in 1936 and this was the car with which he won the Donnington race with co-driver Dick Seaman, according to this website <http://www.geocities.../october98.html>

I was delighted to see that he loaned the car to Buddy Featherstonehaugh (pronounced 'Oswaldtwistle') to run at Crystal Palace 'where the car was rolled'. Another site has Ruesch rolling a Ferrari 340 MM at Senigallia (1951?), 'receiving injuries that brought about his retirement'. <http://www.theautoch...a/number16/pg46>

An interesting chap.

LDM

#7 Don Capps

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 11:33

The movie's sole highlight is that I was extra in it...... :lol: ....actually, there is some good footage from 1954 or perhaps even 1955, but it means having to suffer through the rest of the movie. I had not seen the movie in several years and the last time I saw it, the movie was wose than I remembered -- which means it was pretty bad. The tape that Blockbusters had was of pretty poor quality which didn't help matters.

#8 FEV

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 12:31

Didn't Hans emigrate to Argentina at some point ? I thought I had read he was 1970s F2 driver Carlos Ruesch's father :confused:
Re the 'Mountain Championship', it was an annual race at Brooklands and held on the 'Mountain Circuit' of the track. The 'Mountain Circuit' was a 1+ mile loop added in the early 30s, climbing on the banking and going back down on the 'infield' start/finish line.

#9 Rob29

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 12:53

Originally posted by Don Capps
The movie's sole highlight is that I was extra in it...... :lol: ....actually, there is some good footage from 1954 or perhaps even 1955, but it means having to suffer through the rest of the movie. I had not seen the movie in several years and the last time I saw it, the movie was wose than I remembered -- which means it was pretty bad. The tape that Blockbusters had was of pretty poor quality which didn't help matters.

Where were you an extra, Don? Could not have been filmed in '55 as it had been released im UK by May of that year. The first issue of 'Autosport' I had contained the Monaco GP report and had an ad for the movie.Something like'See the thrills of european grand prix racing in the wonders of cinemascope and stereophonic sound' I had to get my mum to take me to see it! The Monaco footage must have been shot at the sports car GP in '52. For lovers of sick trivia the girl who played the 'love interest' one Bella Darvi,was found dead in a Monaco hotel some years later.

#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 13:14

Originally posted by Rob29
The 'Britsh Mountain Championship' was a race series at Brooklands in 1930s never found out why it was called that as the place is as flat as an airfield!
The movie based on 'The Racers' was called 'Such Men are Dangerous' when released in UK.


It absolutely is not as flat as an airfield if you proceed down the old finishing straight to the foot of the banking, then swoop up the banking right-handed and blare around behind the Members' Hill running clockwise on the Members' Banking, flare out into the level straight towards The Fork, then hairpin right back into the Finishing Straight to complete the short lap. This was the Brooklands Mountain circuit - hence the name of the Championship. A gross exaggeration I know, but then 'the place' was NOT as flat as the airfield that its infield indeed was...

DCN

#11 Barry Lake

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 13:34

For one who has an intense dislike for the Hollywood way with movies (with exceptions, of course, but you know what I mean), I really enjoyed this movie when I saw it in my early teens. It was titled "The Racers" in Australia - the US version I believe.

I still enjoy it when I see it now. Perhaps because it shows GP racing as I first discovered it, I overlook the Hollywood in it. It shows Monaco as I would have liked to have seen it and flashes of various other circuits of the time.

The sports car race at the start was inspired by the 1952 Monaco GP for sports cars, but I am fairly sure the movie wasn't released until 1955 - at least late 1954. It has the 1954 French GP in it, with a Gordini spinning off at the hairpin (Bira?).

Wasn't the GP team "Gordano" or something similar? Maseratis with modified fronts (A6GCM?).

And Kirk Douglas' sports car at Monaco was a sports car version of an HWM - a car famous in the USA if I remember rightly, and one I wouldn't mind owning. I thought it looked great. Bella Darvi didn't look too shabby either.

Sure, there was a lot of the usual Hollywood crap in there, but I still enjoyed it.

In the 1980s a Toronto-based Englishman, Bill Taylor (Toronto Star journo), who used to write the North American column for Modern MOTOR (Australia) when I was the editor through the 1980s came to Oz for a holiday. While he was here, we went to an auction of classic cars and motoring memorabilia. Bill went almost ape when a hard cover copy of Ruesch's book came up. He bid on it with a frenzy, and won it at a fairly reasonable price (more than $2 though!), and left with a giant smile that didn't wilt for days afterwards. He said he'd seen the movie, read the book around the same time, always had wanted to find a copy of it.

Yes, it is a good book, for a novel. Obviously the author knew his stuff.

But how many people realise that the screenplay for the movie (based on the book) was written by Barre Lyndon of "Circuit Dust" and other motor racing book fame of the 1930s?

Completely off-topic, while Bill Taylor was on that trip to Australia, I arranged for him to drive on a multi-car comparison test for the magazine and we plotted a route that included gravel forest roads in the Australian Alps that had been a special stage in the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon. We told Bill there was a very tricky bend over a crest and across a grid, where Gilbert Staepalere and (hmmm, no time to look it up now - another top-line Ford rally driver of the day) crashed their Ford Taunus while leading the rally (after Roger Clark blew a head gasket, not long before Bianch/Ogier inherited the lead from the crashed Ford, then crashed - or were crasehd into - themselves).

Bill found the grid, and crashed in almost identical fashion! I have photos of the 1968 crash and the mid-1980s crash, Same grid, same skid marks, same embankment... Total deja-vu!

Does anyone know Bill, or know where he is? I have lost track of him completely.

#12 Felix Muelas

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 14:07

Originally posted by lynmeredith
...to Buddy Featherstonehaugh (pronounced 'Oswaldtwistle') ...

:lol: :lol: :lol:
:confused:
:blush:
fm

#13 Ian McKean

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 14:31

Originally posted by lynmeredith
...Buddy Featherstonehaugh (pronounced 'Oswaldtwistle') ...


I think you'll find it's pronounced "Fanshaw".

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 15:10

It was a joke, Ian :lol:

#15 Gil Bouffard

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 17:20

The movie has been on The Fox Movie Channel here in America quite often. I always get a kick out of seeing Stirling Moss at La Source in a Green Maserati.

The cars for Lee J. Cobb's version of Alfred Neubauer Gordano team were Enrique Plate's Maseratis. Watching Kirk Douglas hunched over the steering wheel and flailing about has led me to think that he took driving lessons from Harry Schell, who drove for Plate's team. (Not a cut at Harry. Don)

The goofy part is when the "drivers," throw kisse to their women in the pits. The pit are on the "driver's," right and they blow kisses to the left.

Why? Because in America the pits are on the left hand side of the track! Some of the incidents in the movie are based on historical fact. Wasn't it Nuvolari who follwed a car with his lights off in a long distance race?

I taped the movie primarily for the real footage of the real races.

BTW As I remember it, John Fitch, Toulo de Graffenreid, and Phil Hill drove the cars in some of the scenes.

Gil

#16 Don Capps

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 19:46

We were at Spa when they were doing some of the filming, for what I think was to be my first GP -- until my brother broke his leg and we had to rush to the hospital.....

At any rate, they needed some youngster for a scene and I got chosen -- because I spoke English. I am a doofy-looking kid in several of the close-ups at Spa. :rolleyes: I think they gave me some DM for the "job."

I have only a dim memory of the whole affair, being more interested in the surrounding battlefields where my Dad fought (and my uncle was captured) than the race. My goofy brother ruined all that, naturally, and I was sick and missed the German GP as well. We had not planned, as I recall, to go to Reims since we were somewhere on the move most of that Summer it seems.

Fitch wrote a bit about the race in his first book. His work on the movie was more interesting than the movie. I haven't seen it since perhaps 10 years ago, although it popped up TCM once and I fell asleep trying to watch it -- I only tried to watch it because it was in widescreen.

Had 1955 on the mind since that was when it was unleased on an unsuspecting public and had to endure my classmates jeers and comments.... I was redeemed by sitting in Maserati in 1955 and becoming the object of Farina's scorn in the paddock, both of which elevated me to hero status :up: -- until Paul Shafer one-upped me by falling out his living room window (on the fifth floor) onto the top of a car and only breaking his arm.... the car being the CG's which his father was washing.... :up: :up: :lol:

#17 lynmeredith

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Posted 11 June 2002 - 01:04

In the book (I've just finished it) the German cars are Geyer , Italians are Milano and the French cars are Provence . The hero, or anti-hero, is named Erich Lester and his team manager at Geyer is a large autocratic type named Knoll. It all ends in tears.

My Video Movie Guide 2000 has it listed so it must still be available. Extract from that list:
The Racers* A reworking of Champion set in the world of car racers, with Kirk Douglas as the idealist who becomes a racing champion and then an unethical competitor. The photography at the racetrack is unusually effective. Director, Henry Hathaway, Cast, Don Capps :lol: , with Kirk Douglas, Gilbert Roland, Bella Darvi, Cesar Romero, Katy Jurado, Lee J Cobb, 1955.

*Note book title is The Racer

#18 Barry Lake

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Posted 11 June 2002 - 03:20

Memories are coming back slowly...

I think it was an early issue of Automobile Year that had a story on the making of the movie and, unless my memory is playing tricks on me, one of the drivers (de Graffenried I think) lost control and had a real crash that was captured spectacularly on film. As I remember it, they re-wrote the script so they could use it in the movie. I think there might have been a broken leg for the driver involved (the real one).

But this was almost half a century ago

#19 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 11 June 2002 - 05:05

Absolutely right Barry. It's in the rare Number 2 Automobile Year and the author is John Fitch who was employed, along with Emmanuel de Graffenried, as technical advisor and stunt driver.

Actual races covered were the Mille Miglia, Spa, the Supercortemaggiore at Monza, Grand Prix de l'ACF at Reims and the Grand Prix of Europe at the Nurburgring.

Actual incidents they captured on film were the Roberto Mieres fire at Spa and the fatal crash of Marimon at the Nurburgring.

Reusch's book was titled 'Number One" in Europe and "The Racer" was used for the English language editions.

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#20 Barry Lake

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Posted 11 June 2002 - 11:11

Milan

Are you saying that the Marimon crash was actually used in the movie?

The incident where two cars finish up in a field on the other side of the hedge at the Nurburgring (I think) is similar to what I have read of the Marimon crash.

And, was I mistaken about a driver breaking a leg?

#21 dretceterini

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Posted 11 June 2002 - 12:36

I think the racers is a GREAT movie; even if just for the car shots! I want one of the team jump suits or a badge off one of the cars...damn, i can't remember the name of the marque they used....it's only 5AM here...I've been up all night with my copy of La Sport E I Suoi Artigiani...

I keep reapeating to myself...no, this is NOT an obsession...


I'll think of the marque and post it after I get a few hours shut-eye...

Stu

Oh yes...it was Borano, or something like that...

#22 lynmeredith

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Posted 12 June 2002 - 00:09

Does any one know where Ruesch is now? I don't think he's in Richie's WATN. His interests obviously moved far from motor racing in later years.

LDM

#23 lynmeredith

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Posted 12 June 2002 - 00:15

Here's a summary I found on the 'net.
>>>>>>The Racers
Henry Hathaway, Kirk Douglas, Bella Darvi, Gilbert Roland
About the Video
Reviews
From All Movie Guide
The CinemaScope process gets a rugged workout in Henry Hathaway's The Racers. Kirk Douglas stars as an Italian bus driver who dreams of entering the Grand Prix as a world-famous race car driver. Being Kirk Douglas, he achieves his goal, racing in all the major events around the globe. Dedicated to the philosophy of "winning is the only thing", Douglas alienates his fellow racers and everyone else with whom he comes in contact. Only when he is on the verge of losing his sweetheart Bella Darvi does our hero put his priorities in order. Adapted from a novel by Hans Ruesch, The Racers was remade in a 60-minute version as Men Against Speed, an entry in the weekly TV anthology The 20th Century-Fox Hour. Hal Erickson<<<<<<

Seems somewhat different from the book, but that's show business.LDM

#24 Marcor

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 23:37

originally posted by lynmeredith
Hans Ruesch began his racing career at nineteen and competed in more than 100 events, sometimes as an 'independent' and sometimes as a member of the famous Ferrari stable. He won 27 races, among them the Grand Prix of Donington in England, the GP of Bucharest, the Finnish GP, the British Mountain Championship, [what that?] closed circuits on the frozen lakes of Eibsee and Titisee in Germany and hill climbs all over Europe. He has also twice held the world record for the 'kilometre with standing start' which he rested from the late John Cobb. Born of an Italian mother and a Swiss father and raised in Italy, Hans Ruesch now divides his time between Italy and the United States."


Hans Ruesch also won the 1937 GP des Frontières in the famous Alfa Romeo 8C 35, but I don't post it to speak about it but instead of his victories on the German frozen lakes of Eibsee and Titisee.

So there were "Eisrennen" in Germany, not only in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland).

Hans Ruesch won those 2 events in February 1934 (Sunday 4 and 18), driving an Alfa Romeo in the Sport + 1500 cc class. I guess It was the Alfa Romeo Monza he used before his Maserati 8CM. The Titisee event was a race in a short 1.5 km oval track drawn on the frozen lake. Ruesch did the 10 lap at the average speed of 85 km/h. Two weeks later he won the "Eibsee - Rennen" near Garmish-Partenkirshen.

Some of his opponents: Ulrich Maag, Ernst-Günther Burggaller, Rudolf Steinweg, Hans Simons (Bugatti), Willi Briem (Amilcar), Walter Baumer (Austin), ...

Were there the last two "Eisrennen" in Germany ? I can suppose it. Here's the reason.

In 1935 the German motorsport schedules included the "Titisee-Winterfahrt" (from 7 to 10 February) which had to include a race on the frozen lake to end the meeting (so Sunday 10 February).

Three weeks before the race, Zimber, a local Bugatti racing-car driver, would like to practice his car on the frozen lake. Suddenly the ice broke and the Bugatti gave way in the frozen water. The compulsory and unexpected bath was luckily very short for the driver and his copilot, Mr Paprzycki (?? I'm not sure of the spelling), but I don't know what happened to the Bugatti.

I'm almost sure the race was cancelled... But did the ice ever break during a race on a frozen lake ?

#25 O Volante

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 13:58

A few additions:
Hans Rüesch was born on May 17th, 1913 at Naples, Italy. Perhaps a rather unexpected place for a Swiss citizen, but his father was an archaeologist working in that region ... For some reason, the family's stay in Southern Italy became permanent, and so young Hans grew up in Italy ... which may explain why he had so good relations with Italian manufacturers (Maserati, and later Alfa Romeo) and private teams (especially Gino Rovere's enterprises, partly financed by another Swiss national in Italy, Jacques de Rham).
It had also other consequences: at least according to one bio-bibliographical record, he wrote his first book, "The Racer" in Italian (not sure if that is true ...), only to write later in English!
The change to the English language had to do with his immediate post-racing career: in 1939, it is well known, Rüesch sold his 8C-35 Alfa Romeo to Robert Arbuthnot and ... went to the United States, more exactly to New York City, to study creative writing at one of the local universities ...
Post-war, he came back to Europe, and was - except the short spell with the 340MM Ferrari - an author of novels and other stuff ever since ...

Among the more entertaining and educating publications are (incorporating the items already mentioned by Hans) ...
- 'Gladiatoren' (Hallwag: Bern 1939, later published as 'Rennfahrer', Rowohlt: Hamburg 1955)/'The Racer' (Ballantine: New York 1953 & Hurst & Blackell: London 1954)
- 'Top of the World' (Victor Gollancz: London 1950)/'Im Land der langen Schatten' (Steinberg: Zürich 1951)
- 'Make a fortune' (?: ? ?)/'Die Sonne in den Augen' (Steinberg: Zürich 1955)
- 'The Great Thirst' (Hutchinson: London 1957)/'Der schwarze Durst' (Ullstein: Berlin 1959)
- 'The Savage Innocents' (?: ? 1960)
- 'The Game' (Hutchinson: London 1961)/'Die Rivalen' (Diana: Konstanz/Zürich 1965)
- 'The Stealers' (Hutchinson: London 1962)/'Die kleinen Diebe' (Diana: Konstanz/Zürich 1964)
- 'Back to the Top of the World' (Scribner: New York 1973)/'Iglus in der Nacht' (Rowohlt: Reinbek 1974)
- 'Arabs' (Ballantine: New York 1974 - I THINK this is a re-publication of 'The Savage Innocents')

... this is more pratical ....
- 'Richter's New Capri Guide' (Richter, Napoli 195?)

... and these are the more critical books from the author lately turned "activist" ...
- 'Slaughter of the Innocent: Animals in Medical Research' (Bantam: New York 1978)
- 'Nackte Herrscherin. Entkleidung der medizinischen Wissenschaft' (Hirthammer: München 1978, re-published by Nymphenburger: München 1982)/'Naked Empress or The Great Medical Fraud (Civis: Klosters 1982)
- 'Die Fälscher der Wissenschaft' (Hirthammer: München 1979)
- 'Die moderne Barberei' (Hirthammer: München 1981 - these are extracts from the above title)
- 'Die Pharma-Story. Der große Schwindel' (Hirthammer: München 1985)
- (Hrsg.) '1000 Ärzte gegen Tierversuche' (Civis: Klosters 1986)/ (Ed.) '1000 Doctors Against Vivisection' (?, Massagno, Switzerland 1989)

Hans Rüesch's latest known place of residence is Klosters, Kanton Graubünden, Switzerland. As far as I know, he is still alive!

#26 sandy

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 08:40

I have a hankering to buy or try to buy a copy of the film The Racers (aka Such Men are Dangerous). It starred Kirk Douglas and was set in the GP scene of 1953. My question is, is it good insofar as providing plenty of scenes of the racing of the time. (No interest at all in it as a story). I can recall seeing Kirk's HWM crash into a cafe at the start, but cannot quite remember whether much of the rest actually showed racing. Can someone offer an opinion? Amazon has copies on VHS I believe.

#27 RTH

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 10:03

Its entry in Halliwells says........The Racers , 1955 US film 112m , GB title "Such men are dangerous" colour, cinemascope , TCF Julian Blaustein film,

" A Monte Carlo Rally contestant is financed by an attractive lady gambler.......routine racing car melodrama totally unmemorable but impersonally efficient "

The use of the word rally here may well be inaccurate ?

Written by Charles Kaufman from the novel by Hans Ruesch
Kirk Douglas, Bella Darvi, Gilbert Roland, Cesar Romero, Lee J Cobb.....

Never released on VHS or DVD

Its not on the Turner Classic Movies Channel playlist, I am not aware of it having been on UK terestial TV. I have never seen it and would also like a copy.

#28 Rob29

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 11:17

Originally posted by RTH
Its entry in Halliwells says........The Racers , 1955 US film 112m , GB title "Such men are dangerous" colour, cinemascope , TCF Julian Blaustein film,

" A Monte Carlo Rally contestant is financed by an attractive lady gambler.......routine racing car melodrama totally unmemorable but impersonally efficient "

The use of the word rally here may well be inaccurate ?

You would be right there. I recall it was the sports car 1952 Monaco GP.Long time ago. I remember going to see it with my mum. Seem to remember quite a lot of racing (&shunts) Spa & the Millle Miglia also feature. I have the last few minuites (at Reims) on video,albeit dubbed in german. May 1991 must have set the VCR to record DTM live from AVUS and the movie was running late!
VHS for sale on Amazon.com looks expensive and you will need a VCR that plays NTSC tapes.

#29 Wolf

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 11:31

Richard- I hate to correct You (albeit Sandy may like it), but IMDb ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048531/ ) shows it was released on VHS in USA and CDN... I think buttons with VHS written on them allow one to order new or used tapes. Hope it helps, Sandy. :)

#30 dretceterini

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 16:35

Although the plot is just plain silly, there is a fair amount of decent racing coverage. It can be found on ebay from time to time for less than $10.00! I'm still looking for a decent shot of the "Scuderia Flying Chicken :) " racing emblem used in the movie, so I can blow it up and put it on t-shirts. I have some stills (lobby photos) from the movie, but there isn't enough clarity to really see what the emblem looks like...

#31 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 17:08

John Fitch - TNF's favourite racer at the mo it would appear - was technical consultant on 'The Racers' or 'Such Men are Dangerous', its alternative title. In his first autobiography he recalled how Bob Snody directed all the European action scenes while title Director Henry Hathaway "spent most of his time in Hollywood, telling Kirk Douglas how to grimace as he steered a prop car around hairpin turns.

According to Fitch, Hathaway considered that "...everything that went wrong was somebody's fault, and he didn't mean his. Hathaway would not recognise luck. He took credit for things that went well; things that went wrong were due to the thoughtless blunder of some numbskull, often prompting his caustic observation that there were planes back to the States every day..."

A quote which I have always enjoyed is "Hell of a thing", snapped Hathaway, "...when we have to go out and buy the damn cars! Back home, if you want some Fords in your picture you just go to the Ford boys and they fix you up. Same with Chevy or Olds or whatever you want. But not here" - by which he meant in Europe - "Oh no, this old Ferrari guy wouldn't let us borrow a single damn one of his precious tin cans. Not one! Boy, what a country!".

In some areas, little has changed... :rolleyes:

DCN

#32 gerard BARATHIEU

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 18:16

yes,I bought tis fim in VHS FORM some years ago at VIRGIN on the CHAMPS ELYSEES store.

Now I lend this copy to one friend who as to day don't give me back.

It was a film in colour during 1953 /1954 races.

There is some sequences filmed during the true race at DEUTSCHLAND GP

and some during the TARGA FLORIO or MILLES MIGLIA.

Somes sequences are turned in studio.

Baron de GRAFFENRIED contribute to the choice of the cars:there are some MASERATI

transformen in BURANO.

#33 Paul Medici

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 18:54

There is a nice article about the movie in Prancing Horse #118, 1Q96, including several John Apen photos of the three Ferraris that were given the Burano makeover.

dretcterini,
I tried scanning (200dpi) and enlarging the 'chicken' emblem but the results were poor. You may have better luck with a high resolution scanner.

I wonder if there is a Burano in the Collier Collection ;)
.
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#34 RTH

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 18:57

Originally posted by Wolf
Richard- I hate to correct You (albeit Sandy may like it), but IMDb ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048531/ ) shows it was released on VHS in USA and CDN... I think buttons with VHS written on them allow one to order new or used tapes. Hope it helps, Sandy. :)


Thanks for that Wolf, some very good information there plus a very good website - so they will sell you a new VHS tape for $40 or used for $25 in the US NTSC format...........unless anyone can do better ?

#35 Gerr

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 21:45

There is article on Fitch in the April '92 issue of " Sports Car International" with a tiny picture of Fitch being filmed, for "the Racers", crashing a Frazer-Nash into haybales at what appears to be Monaco.

Some interesting items,
Fitch was paid $350 per week.
He and de Graffenried staged fake races all over Europe for months.
Pininfarina built the bodies for the "Buranos".
Chiron, Ascari, Villoresi, Fangio, Schell, Frere, Lang and Herrman were all involved in the filming.

#36 sandy

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 00:21

I thought that the car that was crashed into the straw bales at the start of the film was a 2 seater HWM. From memory this car was advertised for sale, for what seemed like years, some years back. The price was very, very steep.

#37 dretceterini

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 02:03

The HMW still exists, with a Chevy in it for years. There is a rumor that the Alta motor was put in a Siata 208, but I have never been able to substantiate this. I don't have right now $600 for Tony Adriaensens new book on the Siata 208s and Fiat 8Vs to check.

#38 RTH

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:49

This really does sound worth seeing............now gentlemen were these 'Hay' bales or 'Straw' bales ?;)

#39 sandy

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 09:16

Well RTH, to be frank I recall that it appears to be not so much bales that the HWM is careering through but cafe seats, tables, expresso machines and cash registers. I can vaguely remember an elderly white aproned waiter leaping up onto a table canvas canopy. It is one of those crashes that goes on and on and on.

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#40 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 07:25

Didn't Kirk go through the Hay/Straw Bales into the lake? or was that Quinn the Eskimo!! :lol:

[Edit: oops...meant Cesar Romero :blush: ]

#41 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 09:22

In early 1976 we were in a backlot of Universal Studios and found a few old cars one of which we were told was used in The Racers.
It was from memory a midengined Indy type car; dark in colour and looked very strange to our lot who had just rolled up from Long Beach Grand Prix United States West practice.
Max Stewart could not fit in it - John Goss may have but he was interested in something else.

#42 P 4 Staff

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 21:02

Posted Image

I don´t remember seeing this film...but this is what I´ve found.
But...in 1953 or 54...I saw a film with Tony Curtis called...IN SWEDISH..
"Jonny Dark...Racerkungen".

Translated it should be..."Jonny Dark...the racerking"...

Anybody remember that one?

Best: Staff.

#43 dretceterini

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 21:27

I like the stylized Ferrari 166 in the poster with the wheels outside the body :rolleyes:

#44 Wolf

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 21:35

Originally posted by P 4 Staff

I don´t remember seeing this film...but this is what I´ve found.
But...in 1953 or 54...I saw a film with Tony Curtis called...IN SWEDISH..
"Jonny Dark...Racerkungen".

Translated it should be..."Jonny Dark...the racerking"...

Anybody remember that one?

Best: Staff.


OK, P4Staff, this is the film- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047135/ .

#45 Gerr

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 21:38

This is interesting:
http://www.tvtome.co...670/epid-223212

It appears that 20th Century Fox, remade "The Racers" as a TV drama the same year. I wonder if there is more of european-shot footage used in this film ?

#46 Rob29

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 09:34

Originally posted by Gerr
This is interesting:
http://www.tvtome.co...670/epid-223212

It appears that 20th Century Fox, remade "The Racers" as a TV drama the same year. I wonder if there is more of european-shot footage used in this film ?

Don't think this series ever made it to England. From the synopsis it seems to have been very loosely based on The Racers.American involvment in the Mille Miglia-no F1?

#47 Bruce Moxon

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:37

{{{BUMP}}}

Anyone track down this movie on DVD yet? I'm looking for a copy as I'm doing a piece on the Stovebolt Special.


Thanks awfully.




Bruce Moxon

#48 sandy

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:40

Is this the Stovebolt Special that is featured to be major attraction at the Historic Racing at Philip Island this coming weekend? If so you may be interested in film that I will be taking on Saturday - I will be concentrating on those cars that are bit special (special as in unique) and the Stovebolt seems to be in that category.

Later addition to above text. It is as I see in the PI thread. All the more reason to try and get a copy of The Racers.

#49 cdrewett

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:12

It certainly is the Stovebolt which Simon Taylor has owned for the last few years. Have a look at the Shelsley Walsh website, I am sure there are pictures of it there.

#50 roger.daltrey

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:48

If anyone wants to download "The Racers" to watch on their PC, just go to www.strasplace.com and look in the Videos forum - its the 5th or 6th one on the list at the moment

Its about 800MB in size, and you will need the usual Divx plugin to view and have to register with the website.

I've used it for a while, and if you are into nostalgia there is tons of stuff out there with amazing quality.

Watched it a bit after I downloaded, there are some superb scenes in Monaco, but the acting was sooooo awful it makes Le Mans look like a potential oscar winner (I like Le Mans BTW)

Have Fun

Rog