Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Living so close to death that any love is reckless

I discovered today a recent article at the New York Times that outlines the programme of an upcoming film series at Manhattan's Film Forum titled 'Brit Noir'. It will showcase post-war British crime films and thrillers that have perhaps been unjustly ignored.

It's an interesting collection of films, some of which I have seen, most of which I've not. But other than making me wish I had easy access to Manhattan for a little while, I can thank the Times for one thing.

They have reminded me of the title of a film I saw years ago in the UK; though I'd often had images from it running through my mind, I had forgotten what it was called.

It was, in fact, 'Hell Drivers', and the Times journalist seems quite taken with it as well:

One of the real discoveries of the Film Forum series is “Hell Drivers,” directed by the American expatriate Cy Endfield; a story of crazed competition among the drivers for a gravel-hauling company in a provincial town,it achieves an intensity of action and an existential resonance comparable to “The Wages of Fear.”

You'll have noted, perhaps, one of the reasons for the film having stuck in my mind: it's not all that often that you run across 'a story of crazed competition among the drivers for a gravel-hauling company in a provincial town' that manages quite this level of intensity:

I, for one, think there's still a lot of life in the crazed-provincial-gravel-lorry-driver genre.

I'm surprised there haven't been more films that have explored it.


mikeovswinton said...

So, they were the guys that supplied the heap of gravel that we grew up in. (Gravel? You were lucky, we would have killed for a heap of gravel.)
Seriously, there were some decentish actors in that film. Heard the other day that they are remaking McGoohan's "The Prisoner". Set in Arizona. With much bigger balloons - not a euphemism.

J. Carter Wood said...

Yes, I ran across a reference to the new Prisoner series just yesterday, while looking up something about Ian McKellan.

There is a preview (with a big balloon or two) at his website.

Looks...pretty promising, actually.