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Joe "Tom" Yateley is an ex-convict. Trying to leave his past behind, he decides to start working for the Hawlett Trucking company, which transports gravel. It's an aggressive company, where speed is everything. Doing too few runs in a day? You're out. Red is the most experienced trucker. He can do eighteen runs in a day. Tom soon makes friends with Lucy, the secretary, and Gino, a driver. But the record of Red intrigues him and he wants to break it. Gino advises against it, but he helps Tom when he wants to go through with it. Soon trouble begins when Red and the other drivers form a united front against Tom. Just when Tom has enough and decides to pack his bags, Lucy tells him Gino had a terrible accident. She also tells about the corruption of Hawlett Trucking.Written by
Arnoud Tiele (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This film is a remarkably unsentimental look at life for the less fortunate in post-war Britain. There are no tour-de-force performances, but this is not a film that demands them. A group of down on their luck men, finding work, love and friendship where they can, do what they have to do to earn enough money to keep them from crime (more or less), particularly when faced by venal employers who cheat and lie to them daily. There is no union for these men, no legal recourse, no Health and Safety Executive, they have nothing except themselves and the tenuous camaraderie they forge in the down and out bed and breakfasts they have to live in. Driving trucks to ferry gravel from a quarry to a building site, they cut every corner and take their own, and every other road user's, life in their hands as they struggle to get that one more run, that might get them one more pint in the pub. A veritable "who's going to be who" of British actors - Sean Connery, David McCallum, Herbert Lom (okay, Czech, but work with me...), William Hartnell (far from the lovable Dr Who), Stanley Baker, Patrick McGoohan and Sid James (in a rare straight role) all grimly play men on edge pushed to their limits - and sometimes beyond.
Oh yes - until 1965, there were no speed limits on British roads outside urban areas, which in some respects explains the lack of police.
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