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Hot Rod Rumble (1957)

Arny joins a hot rod club, but his eccentric mannerisms (a Marlon Brando rip-off performance from "The Wild One" by look-alike Hartunian) make him unpopular. At a party, Terry rebukes him ... See full summary »


Meyer Dolinsky


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Eighteen-year-old Johnnie, chafing under his father's authority, seeks to get a job, buy a hot-rod, woo his girl, and stand up to the local bully.

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Complete credited cast:
Leigh Snowden ... Terri Warren
Richard Hartunian Richard Hartunian ... Arnie Crawford
Wright King ... Ray Johnson - Arnie's sidekick
Joey Forman ... Benny, Club President
Brett Halsey ... Jim Lawrence
Larry Dolgin Larry Dolgin ... Hank Adams
John Brinkley John Brinkley ... Bill
Chuck Webster Chuck Webster ... Race official
Dorothy Adams ... Ma Crawford
Than Wyenn Than Wyenn ... Arnie's Boss
Ned Glass ... Auto Parts Dealer
Phil Adams Phil Adams ... Club member
Joseph Mell Joseph Mell ... Pops


Arny joins a hot rod club, but his eccentric mannerisms (a Marlon Brando rip-off performance from "The Wild One" by look-alike Hartunian) make him unpopular. At a party, Terry rebukes him for his coarseness and centers her attention on another boy. A fight between the two men is stopped by Jim Lawrence, but Ray Johnson, pretending friendship with Arny, keeps the antagonism going and tries to win Terry for himself. Driving home, Hank and Terry are harassed by a hot rod which they think is driver by Arny. Swerving to avoid a collision, they are thrown from the car, and Hank is killed and Terry badly injured and unconscious. Ray, the actual driver of the hot rod, carries Terry to his car, but frightened by approaching vehicles, he returns her to the wreckage and flees. All, including Terry, blame Arny for the wreck, but there is no proof. Vindictive club members destroy Arny's car and beat him mercilessly. He rebuild his car for the big race. Terry goes to the race with Ray and, in his ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The slick chicks who fire up the big wheels!


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Release Date:

9 June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Road Devils See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nacirema Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The producers claimed that 90 per cent of the cast were under 23 years of age. See more »


Referenced in River of Grass (1994) See more »


Original soundtrack was available on Liberty Records Inc.
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User Reviews

The Road Devils
19 September 2017 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Story about youthful leather rebels who band together into a club called the "road devils". They race their hot rod autos around in various road races, impress the girls, chitchat in greasy diners, and otherwise act cool, in this juvenile delinquent film from the mid-fifties.

The protagonist is a guy named Arnie (Richard Hartunian). Plot follows mostly him and his drama, and involves a girlfriend, a "best friend", and an unfortunate death. It's a fairly straightforward plot that ends about the way you would expect. I did not detect any twists and turns, so to speak, or any real surprises. Mostly it's a character study of the rebel persona that existed during that time period.

Visual styles reflect the era ... guys with greasy, slicked-back hair and leather gear; gals were deferential and wore long skirts and ponytails. Most of the male actors looked too old to be credible juveniles.

Sound quality is not very good, but no worse than that of comparable low-budget films from that period. But the B&W cinematography is terrible, at least in the copy I watched. The visuals were so dark there were scenes when I could barely tell the outline of a human against a dark sky. The poor visuals interfered with my enjoyment of the film; my mind kept wandering away. The jazzy score was nice and fit right in with the rebel theme.

Surely a low-budget film that was never meant to be anything other than a grade-B flick, "Hot Rod Rumble" is still worthwhile viewing for its 1950s juvenile delinquent theme ... if the viewer can manage to somehow overcome the way too dark visuals, especially at and near the film's beginning.

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