You know it’s gonna be a tough trip when even your own truck tries to ground and pound you!
Nick Garcos (Richard Conte) is a war veteran returning to the family home to see his jolly loving folks. Nick’s got gifts, his sweet girlfriend Polly is there and Pops and Mama are singing and smiling. The war had been tough but life is good and the smell of Mama’s cooking fills his heart, everything is perfect? STOP! Pull that needle right across the record…….
Nick’s homecoming soon changes from smiles to anger. Pops isn’t quite the same man he used to be. Pops had been a truck driver delivering a lorry load of tomatoes when he “accidently” ran off the road. Nick smells foul play and figures it was caused by a big time San Francisco gangster market trader called Mike Figlia (Lee J Cobb). Nick just can’t let it lie and meets up with Pops friend and fellow driver, Ed Kinney (Millard Mitchell) who seems to have profited from his old man’s broken truck. Maybe Ed can shine a light on this dodgy character Mike Figlia?
Tagline – Rackets Ride The Roads!
Before he knows it Nick is persuaded to join Ed in a shipment of the best ripe apples of the season. This fruit will bring a small fortune for the pair, if they can just make the arduous journey. Fresh fruit brings the big dollars and Nicks thinks he can help the family with cash and also have a word with Figlia. Surely nothing will go wrong? Haha yes you guessed it, this is good old fashioned film noir thriller, let the drama be unleashed.
Directed by Jules Dassin who managed to sandwich this film in between the stellar Night And The City and The Naked City. The guy was on fire, especially with Brute Force (1947) Sadistic Prison Guard Gives Lancaster Beef! in the mix too. Dassin manages to pull of a suspenseful fast pace drive through the dark streets and country roads as every turning brings a whole new volatile situation. You feel the twists and the turns, you wanna punch yourself in the face to keep awake on the sleepless night as Nick and Ed keep on truckin. Tires blow, crankshafts crack, temperatures rise to boiling point.
It’s like Wages Of Fear with apples taking the place of nitroglycerine but still just as explosive!
Can Nick off load his bounty fruit based cash? Can he stand up against wise crooked gangster Figlia and his band of dodgy crooks? And will he be swayed by the smoking, sensual, sexy and street smart siren Rica (Valentina Cortese)
Nick Garcos – “Hey, do you like apples?”
Rica – “Everybody likes apples, except doctors.”
Now I’m sure you’ve seen it and I’m sure you liked it? But if you haven’t like me then I thoroughly recommend it. I haven’t seen Dassin’s 1955 French film Rififi yet! The reviews are big and it’s sound most highly rated. Is there any other Dassin movies I’ve missed?
Take it easy, sink down in the lazy boy, fling those shoes off, rip the stinky socks off, relax, pour a beer and unwind to a good old film. Enjoy… Mikey Wolf