Classic Thursday is upon us once more and the time has come to re-visit a classic British film from 1957. I’m of course referring to Hell Drivers that sports an all-star cast and has recently been restored and released on Blu-ray courtesy of Network. So without further ado here is my Hell Drivers Blu-ray review.
- Hell Drivers (1957)
- Genre: Drama
- Directed by Cy Endfield
- Written by Cy Endfield & John Kruse
- Running Time: 108 Mins
- UK Rating 12
- Discs: 1
- Released By Network
- Blu-ray Released: 20 March 2017
- Starring Stanley Baker, Herbert Lom, Patrick McGoohan, Peggy Cummins, Sean Connery, Sid James, Alfie Bass, William Hartnell, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson, Jill Ireland
Tom Yately (Stanley Baker) is truck driver whose job entails collecting and delivering track ballast. The catch is the drivers have to drive incredibly fast if they complete the minimum daily load count. Safety concerns are put to one side.
Red (Patrick McGoohan) is the number one driver completing more loads than anyone else, he does this by taking a dangerous shortcut through the quarry. Rivalry between the drivers is high but no one beats Red, however new guy Tom has other ideas and so the tension rises.
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Cy Endfield with the cinematography handled by Geoffrey Unsworth and features trucks travelling at speed along narrow twisty roads in order to deliver their load of aggregate in time. This does mean the trucks are indeed speeded up in order to create the effect and whilst this does clearly stand out I’m not sure what the alternative was for 1950’s filmmakers.
It doesn’t ruin the film and in some instances work reasonably well.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Hubert Clifford and perfectly ramps up the tension.
Acting / Characters
The acting is top class all-round and that should come as no surprise when you read the cast list.
Stanley Baker plays a man with a past he would rather not reveal. He is burdened by an emotional guilt and by taking the truck driver job he hopes to make amends. Stanley Baker plays this extremely well he is both a strong character but one with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Patrick McGoohan is the films villain he dominates the other driver challenging them to beat him. He plays the character to perfection and as the story develops an altercation between Tom and Red is ultimately inevitable.
Herbert Lom plays Gino a fellow driver and one whom befriends Tom. He also is dating the Lucy (Peggy Cummins) who happens to work in the office and loves all the attention she receives from the drivers.
Sid James and Sean Connery further add to the quality of acting as they play fellow truck drivers.
I cannot fault any of the performances and that really is the reason Hell Drivers is loved so much by film fans.
Conclusion: Hell Drivers (1957) Film Review
Hell Drivers is indeed a must see film especially if you love British films from the era. The acting is top draw, the story is engrossing, what more could you want in a drama?
If you like my Hell Drivers blu-ray review you may want to check out these films:
- The Blue Lamp (1950)
- The Goose Steps Out (1942)
- The Man Between (1953)
- It Happened One Night (1934)
- Jamaica Inn (1939)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
Conclusion: Hell Drivers Blu-ray Review
The film has undergone some restoration work and now looks absolutely superb. The print is clean and sharp without any sign of dirt marks anywhere to be found.
Put simply if you are a fan of this film then this Blu-ray release is must have.
- The Stanley Baker Story
- Full Screen Ahead
- Danger Man with Patrick McGoohan: Loyalty Always Pays
- Stanley Baker archive interview (1960s)
- Stanley Baker plaque news footage
- Who Killed Lamb?
- Return to the Rhondda documentary
- Audio Commentary by Harry Fairbairn & Andrew Robertson
A great set of extras have been included, and many of these are from around the time of filming which makes them especially interesting.
On to my movie rating for Hell Drivers (1957)
- Movie Rating: RECOMMENEDED / MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Amazon UK Links
Hell Drivers (1957) is available now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
That concludes my Hell Drivers blu-ray review, check back soon for another classic film that’s had the blu-ray treatment.
Note: The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.
Summary: Hell Drivers (1957) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Hell Drivers (1957)
Duration: 108 mins
Director(s): Cy Endfield
Actor(s): Stanley Baker, Patrick McGoohan, Herbert Lom, Sean Connery, Sid James, Alfie Bass, Peggy Cummins
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
An fabulous British Drama with an outstanding cast, now fully restored on Blu-ray.