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on 14 February 2012
This movie, the last one made by Terence Fisher for Hammer before "The Curse of Frankenstein", is extremely interesting in many respects. First, it is a pulse-racing story, featuring very well-filmed Formula 1 races of the 1950s: the overall editing of the races (representing the two climaxes of the film) is still very efficient to this day, and I must say I was (almost) on the edge of my seat - and God knows I am not a fan of Formula 1. So brownie point for Terence Fisher, showing great craftmanship in how to build and sustain a good story on screen. The film is also interesting for its cast: after all, Hammer managed to get, in Richard Conte, not far from an A-list Hollywood star, whom I fondly remember from Jo Mankiewicz's great "House of Strangers", where he was opposed to Edward G. Robinson. There is great support from George Coulouris, Peter Illing and Alex Mango as well (I was less convinced by the female lead Mari Aldon, too much of a goody two shoes for my taste). Last but not least, Fisher's Christian beliefs can clearly be seen here for the first time. It is quite obvious not only when one of the pilot is seen praying for his survival in church, but also when Wells gives up his leading position to meet his dying friend or when he eventually chooses the path of reason or even when he keeps going through what is self-sacrifice to secure the success of his teammates (one could say "disciples") in a war against cynicism and inhumanity. A very interesting film indeed. Some newsreels on car racing and on Stirling Moss as bonuses, but you're not buying this DVD for them, right?
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