Hell Drivers

Cy Endfield, another of this series's refugees from the Hollywood blacklist, delivers a raw critique of capitalist exploitation in the form of a full-throttle thriller. Stanley Baker plays an ex-con who drifts into a job hauling gravel for Hawlett's, a trucking company where only the desperate need apply. Spurred on by openly ruthless management, marginal men-including pious, naive “Italian” Herbert Lom and a young Sean Connery-vie to beat the pace set by the unhinged Irishman at the wheel of truck Number 1: Patrick McGoohan, before he was The Prisoner's Number 6. There's plenty of action in the rattle and roar of trucks careening along country roads, but the film's suspense comes from social pressures rather than speed as the rivalry between Baker and McGoohan becomes increasingly explosive. The ultimate use of all those rocks is never mentioned; hauling endless tons of cargo in a race none of them can ever really win, the drivers are embodiments of labor as a road to nowhere.

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