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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine British Drama
Stanley Baker plays an ex con struggling to find work. He is eventually employed as a driver for a haulage firm which isnt quite what it seems. He soon realises that the drivers are badly underpaid despite the numerous loads which they have to deliver during their respective shifts.

Many of the action sequences are quite funny at times, showing lorries being...
Published on 8 Feb. 2007 by E. A. Redfearn

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3.0 out of 5 stars Real 50s60s UK film industry sort of film. Its ...
Real 50s60s UK film industry sort of film. Its not flash, its more character based and gritty and you'd watch it for Stanley Baker.
Published 2 months ago by Brian


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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine British Drama, 8 Feb. 2007
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
Stanley Baker plays an ex con struggling to find work. He is eventually employed as a driver for a haulage firm which isnt quite what it seems. He soon realises that the drivers are badly underpaid despite the numerous loads which they have to deliver during their respective shifts.

Many of the action sequences are quite funny at times, showing lorries being driven at tremendous speeds around hairpin bends. Obviously speeded up to look dramatic. What holds the film together however, is the superb cast. Apart from Stanley Baker, there is Herbert Lom, Sean Connery (before he became better known as THE James Bond) Sidney James, William Hartnell and Patrick McGoohan as the villain of the piece. The romantic interest is left to Peggy Cummins and the then unknown Jill Ireland.

Despite its low budget, its superbly directed by Cy Endfield (who went on to direct the superb Zulu) and filmed by Geoffrey Unsworth. Not a bad picture, and reasonable sound.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sheer grit from Brit trucker thriller, 20 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] (DVD)
On the surface, a 1957 b&w film about short haul truck drivers in cold, rainy Britain seems a dull proposition. Check the credits though: ex-pat yank Cy Endfield is directing a roll call of Brit period talent here. Stanley Baker (later to appear in Endfield's 'Zulu'), is newly-released from jail and finding work tough to get, takes on a driving job with dodgy hauliers helmed by manager William ('Dr Who') Hartnell and bullying road boss, Patrick McGoohan (huge and angry as ever). Co-drivers Sean Connery (yes, him), Alfie Bass, Herbert Lom amongst other then newcomers to the contemporary stage and screen soon make it clear that this job is no Sunday outing. It could seem horribly dated in the CGI age but there is real grit in this pacy, edgy production. The script crackles, direction and editing is tight, the stunt drivers have fun, and the performances from a cast crowding to snatch centre-stage at all times, highly entertaining. Endfield strives to lend proceedings realism and there is an absence of the mawkishness and prudery often found in entertainment of the time. Baker's love scene with a yummy Peggy Cummin is brief, snatched in a truck shed, and credibly hungry. OK - speeding up the film so that the creaky old tipper trucks almost fly round the muddy lanes around Pinewood is a tad silly viewed today, but don't let period technology get in the way of enjoying a film with so much on offer for film buffs and nostalgics alike. The DVD comes with a somewhat stilted interview with star Baker and a more revealing documentary about the lives of truck drivers of the time. (McGoohan fans note: the trucks are all numbered - they'll understand) ...
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not fast.....but oh so furious, 22 April 2004
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This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] (DVD)
Try making a film today about a group of drivers taking ballast tobuilding sites somewhere in the Home Counties and you'd be laughed out ofthe golf club.But that's not how it was when films were films rather thancynical marketing ploys to attach high profile actors (sic) to pitifullyweak scripts, throw in a load of special effects, and release it just intime for the school holidays.The world isn't threatened. There is noshooting, no drugs, no aliens, no dreary sword'n'sorcery. Just a bunch ofblokes trying to earn a crust driving tipper trucks for a bent depotmanager. Some of them are nice (Stanley Baker), some of them are nasty(Patrick McGoohan), and some of them just stay in the background (SeanConnery). It's in Black and White and was made for less than the cateringbudget for "The Matrix", but it has what 99.9% of today's "Blockbusters"lack : a well-written script, a cast that can actually act, and a beliefthat it has a purpose other than making money. The moral of the film isintegrity. The moral of Film should be the same.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All those future Icons together..., 20 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
One of those films that once seen is never forgotten, not least because of the ensemble of actors featuring in it. Every time you watch it you seem to spot someone else, and it is a very rewatchable film. Where else would you find all those future icons of 1960s and 1970s film and TV - Stanley Baker, Sean Connery, Patrick McGoohan, Herbert Lom, William Hartnell, Sidney James, Alfie Bass, Jill Ireland, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson - all in one film? Surely a cornerstone of any "six degrees of separation" list...
The 2 disc Network release also includes a number of documentaries about Stanley Baker ("Return to the Rhondda" managing to be especially moving) as well as two full length TV dramas ("Who Killed Lamb?" starring Stanley Baker and "Danger Man: Loyalty Always Pays" starring Patrick McGoohan) and the usual trailers and short featurettes made during filming - including a gallery of a newspaper comic strip released by the film distributors at the time which would have told you (bizarrely) the entire plot. The commemorative booklet is exhaustive and the whole package (including an affectionate commentary which occasionally gets rather too fixated on the colour of the trucks and the abuse they suffered during filming) is a fitting tribute to a genuine, and very rewarding, British film classic.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring on the trucks!, 2 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
This is a great film, one of my all time favourits. Being a fan of classic cars, WW2 military vehicles, Sid James and Bill Hartnell this film is a treasure trove of Willys Jeeps, flying jackets and artillary men leather waistcoats! The cast has already been touched upon in other reviews and is full of top notch people but I feel I must mention Red, the drunken, bullying time setter and foreman of Bill Hartnell's boss, played to perfection with as much menace and sometimes comedy by Patrick McGoohan. The grin that hints of many pub brawls and of a broken jaw, the eternal presence of the roll up fag, the air of a ticking time bomb of violence waiting to explode in a second, a man who is king of his own jungle. What a character he was.

Little bit of info here, my Grandfarther used to be a builder for 50 years of his life, he did this kind of life style in the time the movie is set. We watched this film one saturday afternoon, he loved it but pointed out two things as follows.
1. The trucks use in this film, obviously speeded up, could only muster around 40 45 an hour unloaded and were prone to gear box death if driven to hard.
2. He also told me that Red was quiet a common character back then, he also said that McGoohan's performance was quite tame compared to his old work mates and foremen! Imagine Red magnified ten fold!

In short, buy it, watch it, enjoy the characters, the motor's, the wagons, the clothes and the great cliff hanger of an ending!!!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's an Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman and a Welshman, 21 Jan. 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] (DVD)
... and they all decide to make a grity drama about the transportation of gravel. Or is it a gravelly drama about the transportation - never mind.
The point is, these aforementioned four are played by none other than William Hartnell (Dr Who), Patrick McGoohan (the Prisoner), Sean Connery and Stanley Baker. It also features Herbert Lom, David McCallum and Sid James.
The calibre and combination of the acting talent alone is recommendation enough but the story itself is pretty exciting too: there's thrills, spills, and daredevil chases as the macho truck drivers race each other too and from their drop-offs, finding just enough time to swap punches and fight over the girl. Baker's the new guy on the job and makes his usual convincing and compelling job of playing the rough-diamond.
The truck chases, which form a hefty portion of screen time, bare little semblance to modern takes on the genre(speeded-up film really did loose its power to convince so very long ago), and the lack of police intervention as these maniacs put pedals to metal may leave you wondering why the realism should be stretched over other parts of the narrative, but by God is it an enjoyable little film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I WANT THAT CIGARETTE CASE., 6 Mar. 2010
By 
T. BARNES "wolfram" (ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] (DVD)
I have been HGV driver now for many years, so of course this great film appealed to me in more ways than one. The great cast( anyone remember Alfie Bass in Bootsie and Snudge ) the future James Bond, Dr Who, Danger Man and the Prisoner, and many other notable actors. Peggy Cummins did of course star in the excellent Night of the Demon another superb British film.
The lorries they drove, not unlike the type I learned to drive all those years ago, compared to modern vehicles, torture machines. These were the days when men were men, they didn't have time to whinge and whine, just got on with the job regardless of hurdles. This movie is typical of that age, no Health and Safety, no rules, no job protection, work hard or get lost, not perfect, but this is how the Great was put in Britain, sadly those days are gone.
So buy this film and enjoy the nostalgia of a bygone time, revel in the acting skills portrayed with great gusto by all involved,..........a classic.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christ,what a cast!, 16 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
The best bit of this is that very few of the stellar cast were known to cinema viewers when this came out in 1957. It didn't end there, though.

We should face facts-every cliche in the book is in here, the special effects consist of repeated speeded-up film of stunt driven lorries hurtling round the same corners and country roads, meeting nothing more than pre-war Ford cars en route and Irish-American Patrick McGoohan's Irish accent is almost as unconvincing as Lithuian Herbert Lom's comic Italiano.

Who cares??

It's a rip-roaring film, moves along fast, has a supporting cast, apart from Herbert Lom, of William Hartnell, Jill Ireland,Sean Connery, Alfie Bass, Sid James & Gordon Jackson, and is only missing a loveable Cockney rogue amongst the lorry drivers, plus David MacCallum looking about 16!!

Yeh, it's violent and downright nasty at times, but so is life occasionally, as it was back then, too. You'll forgive it for all the above, plus the battle between ex-crim new Driver Stanley Baker, slowly smouldering beneath the bloody great chips on either shoulder that made him such a well-balanced individual, and top driver Red, Mr McGoohan, who is an even more combustible method-acting psychopath, who resembles dear old Robert Newton when he really gets aflame AND manages to have a thundering all-Gaelic punch-up with Stanley & STILL keep a lit fag in his mouth for most of the time!!

This really is one to savour-sometimes for the right, sometimes for the wrong reasons. But definitely one to savour!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unless I'm pushed that is., 10 Feb. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
Ex-convict Tom Yately snags himself a job driving for haulage company Hawletts. The drivers are paid per trip, something that spurs the men on to drive faster and be more reckless than your average employee. Making few friends at Hawletts, Tom uncovers shifty dealings between brutal foreman, Red, and Hawletts manager, Cartley. Something that ups the stakes considerably more as Tom and Red clash on and off the road.

A true British hard boiler is Hell Drivers that is chocked full of machismo. Who would have thought that a film about lorry drivers transporting gravel could be so exciting? Directed by Cy Endfield {Zulu}, Hell Drivers has something of the quintessential working class about it, which is good to see and is no bad thing at all. Gritty in texture, the film, although a crime film in essence, has good character substance. Tom, played by the criminally undervalued Stanley Baker, is a guy trying to move on with his life, his past misdemeanours hang heavy with him, courtesy of a nice family thread that exists within the picture. But here he is trying to earn a hard days pay, only to find that crime, thru no fault of his own, wont leave him be. There's also a crucial thread of bullying, essayed by the hulking and fabulous Patrick McGoohan. And of course there's the women caught up in this macho world, observers to daily recklessness, coming to terms with affairs of the heart as much as the daily grind.

Set to a back drop of cafés, boarding houses, village dances, disused quarries and tight winding roads, Endfield and his crew have the working class atmosphere spot on. For sure it's the roaring trucks that bring the excitement, but it's the working class everyman (and woman) heart that drives Hell Drivers along. But be that as it may, it's the trucks, and the men behind the wheels, that the film is most remembered for. Endfield shooting the road beasts front and rear, really puts us out on the road with them. That we are involved with the characters and their surroundings, for better or worse, really aids the experience, such is the authentic feel that Endfield has crafted.

A roll call of Great British talent lines up alongside McGoohan, who may have been born in America, but was an honorary Brit due to his work on TV show The Prisoner. Into the Baker led beef stew comes Sean Connery, Sid James, William Hartnel, Alfie Bass, Wilfrid Lawson, David McCallum and Gordon Jackson. With Herbert Lom adding a continental aspect as the crucial, and emotionally driven Gino Rossi. The girls are played by Peggy Cummins, Jill Ireland and Marjorie Rhodes, with Cummins particularly standing out in amongst this hairy knuckled world.

On release the film garnered mixed reviews, but with each passing decade Hell Drivers has broken free of its cult only status. To which it now stands tall as a true British classic, that thankfully got a DVD treatment in 2007 to finally do it justice. 9/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British cinema of the 50s at its best, 17 Jun. 2009
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hell Drivers [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
I remember the tail end of the fifties and I love the period pieces of this film

There must have been a building boom at the time as they were carting ballast from the pit to the building sites and there seemed to be an unlimited demand for it. Those were the days

The ad for Lyons cakes, Liquafruta and only baddies in those days spat unlike the youngsters of today. I even saw a poster in the background for the Crazy Gang who were very popular on stage in the 1940s

When they went to the dance in the hall everyone wore a collar and tie. and these were working blokes who never wore suits during the week. They really dressed up to go out to a dance. Everyone was at the dance from youngsters to middle aged people dancing to the old fashioned band no records.

The dancing was jive and rock and roll which was quite advanced for 1957 but it was all Bill Haley type rock and roll.

The female characters are all strong types from the femme fatale who fancies and plays up to all the men. The landlady where they all stay rules with a heavy hand and even his mother runs a shop. None of the female characters are a mere appendage of a man which is very unusual for such an old film.

All the men are tough and macho and it is basically about the rivalry between Stanley Baker the new boy who is hiding a secret and Patrick Mc Goohan who keeps everyone in line with his fists and his crooked tactics.

When they fell out with Stanley Baker because he wouldn't take part in the fighting they called him Yellow belly. it was the sort of language we used to use in primary school.

I am am no expert on the vehicles but they all looked like second world war ex army vehicles and others have commented that this film is a must for fans of dodge trucks it is a truck and vehicle spotters paradise.

The British roads don't seem to have got any better as they went down crappy country lanes.

The story line is very strong and although some of the love scenes are abit corny it contains plenty of tension and you really want to know how these people resolve their problems.

Plenty of tension and our hero survives despite the odds. A great cast of British actors in their early years giving great performances Sid James Sean Connery Gordon Jackson Alfie Bass Patrick Mc goohan doing a very good baddy, William Hartnell and Herbert Lom as the foreigner.

A must see film. One of the best.
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