Young David Morton, heir to millions, has been over-zealously restrained from normal youthful activities by his two old-maid Aunts, Harriet and Agatha. In an outburst from his confinement, he meets lovely Gertrude, and promises to race her injured-brothers car in the Big Race. Between the gangsters trying to win the race by disabling him, and his bungling bodyguards trying to bring him home safely, David has a battle to win the race and Gertrude's heart. He succeeds in winning the race, capturing the gangsters and gets his aunt's understanding release.
No-name actor David Sharpe plays a rich teen who is sick of being sheltered and over-protected. It seems he's the heir to a family fortune and his guardians are scared to death something bad could happen to him. So, he naturally feels smothered. It's so bad, he eventually runs away--looking for some excitement in his very dull existence. Through some VERY, VERY, VERY contrived situations, he soon meets up with a girl who asks him (completely out of the blue) to drive her race car in 'the big race'. I am sure this sort of thing happened all the time back in the 1930s!! Can David win the race, avoid killing himself and get the girl by the time the movie is complete....all in under one hour? And, can he do it when an evil baddie is conspiring behind the scenes to make sure David can't win?!
This movie has 'Poverty Row' written all over it. In other words, William Berke Productions had a minuscule budget and it clearly shows! Most of the actors are obviously non-professionals, as their delivery is very poor. Some stumble over their words, have flat deliveries or even talk over other actors. And, because it was a very quickly made B-movie, the director didn't even bother re-shooting scenes that were clearly mistakes. In addition, the story is very poorly written--with some bad dialog and silly story elements--with way too many convenient coincidences. So despite all these problems, is it worth seeing? Well, if you are a Mickey Daniels fan (there are at least three or four out there), then it's worth seeing him in his post-Little Rascals/Hal Roach Studiodays. This rather brash actor was in the tail end of his career when he made this film and was forced to appear in very low-end productions like this one. Considering his shtick involved a horrid ear-piercing laugh, I guess this was not a bad thing. Also, if you love absolutely terrible talent shows, then this is the picture for you! Otherwise, I say skip it. ROARING ROADS is a fun little drama from the 1930s that manages to pack a lot into the short running time (under one hour). It also has a lightness of touch which I found commendable, meaning that the narrative moves along smoothly and even the rough-around-the-edge touches aren't much of a problem.
The main character is played by David Sharpe, who also had a hand in the story. He's an amusing dweeb character, an upper class twit mollycuddled by his aunts and longing for an adventure. Through various plot contrivances, an adventure indeed comes along in the form of a pretty girl in thrall to gangsters, one of whom is played by former OUR GANG actor Mickey Daniels.
What follows is a story mixing together romance, drama, thrills, and plenty of comic hijinks involving the stars. The climactic racing car scene is well handled to boot and it's a lot of fun to watch it just to see how dangerous things were back in the day before various safety measures like roll cages and the like were brought in to play. The humour is lowbrow and slapstick and typically involves dumb henchmen getting knocked out by even dumber comedy sidekicks, but it's an effortless watch. a5c7b9f00b
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