Speed Devils (1935)

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Speed Devils (1935) Poster

Martin Gray (Paul Kelly)and Dan Holden (Russell Hardie) are rival race-car drivers, and both crash in a big race and decide to give up racing and become partners in an auto-repair business.... See full summary »


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28 May 2016 | MartinHafer
| Not a terrible film, but like many Bs, it's very rushed and could have been a lot better.
I can only assume that the film "Speed Devils" was either made much earlier than its release date of June, 1935 or perhaps its European version was a bit spicier and that's the one I saw. That's because several times throughout the film, the characters said 'hell'-- something that simply would not have been allowed during the era of the toughened Production Code that began in July, 1934. Many of you won't care about this, but it did make me notice, as I love pre-Code films and it sure seemed like one because of the cursing. To get an exemption for even one curse word was a very difficult thing and "Gone With the Wind" (1939) had to convince the powers that be that they could use only one in the film's finale...and that was incredibly rare.

The story is about what you'd expect with many B movies...it runs VERY fast (as a B usually was about 55-65 minutes in length)...too fast. I think if the story had an extra 10-20 minutes it would have worked much better. Several times, the film had characters make guesses or change behavior too quickly--which seemed inexplicable. It was obvious that to speed along the film they did this to make the story within a prescribed B movie time frame.

When the film begins, Dan and Marty are race car drivers who just got in a wreck. Dan can't drive any more and Marty suggests they both go in business together running a garage. Along the way, Dan's girlfriend, Pat, falls for Marty...but Marty is a true friend and spurns Pat's love. Later, mobsters wanting to split up this partnership decide (out of the blue, really) to convince Dan that Marty and Pat ARE seeing each other behind his back. The movie ends very predictably.

Overall, this is mildly entertaining but is marred by the swift pace and pedestrian writing. Not a bad film but that's about all I can about it that's positive.

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Release Date:

21 June 1935



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