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Intent to Speed: Cyclical Production, Topicality and the 1950s Hot Rod Movie

Stanfield, Peter (2013) Intent to Speed: Cyclical Production, Topicality and the 1950s Hot Rod Movie. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 11 (1). pp. 34-55. ISSN 1740-0309. (doi:10.1080/17400309.2012.734496) (KAR id:31610)

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This essay tracks the emergence, consolidation and dissolution of the short cycle of hot rod movies that was exhibited from 1956 to 1958. The aim is to explore this cycle’s connection to topical issues and show how filmmakers used timely subjects. The essay examines the media frenzy that whirled around the subculture of hot rodding and the sensationalist marketing strategies used to promote the films, which are linked to exhibition in drive-in theatres. There is an extraordinary mismatch between the thrills promised by the sales pitch for the films and the pedestrian action of the films themselves. While showing intent to speed, few examples of the cycle actually delivered on the promise to thrill. Finally, questions of turnover and the speed of production are considered. What draws these areas of interest together is a series of enquiries about what made hot rods and hot rod culture useful to film producers and audiences.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17400309.2012.734496
Uncontrolled keywords: hot rods, film cycles, drive-ins, cinema exhibition, sensationalism, thrills, subculture, topicality, b-movies.
Subjects: E History America
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Peter Stanfield
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2012 09:19 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 13:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Stanfield, Peter.

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