Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Harry Eyerly: Movie Star

One other thing I did while Liv was out of town: watched a car flick that's been on my 'to see' list for a long time: the original 1955 Fast and the Furious.  Liv is a movie nut, and she'll watch almost anything, but I couldn't ask her to sit through a movie this bad.  If it weren't for the racing scenes (OK, and Dorothy Malone) I probably couldn't have made it through.
Screenwriter Roger Corman lifted the basics of the plot from Hitchcock's 1942 classic, Saboteur: innocent man (John Ireland), accused of murder, escapes and kidnaps a young woman and steals her car.  As they travel together she begins to believe his story.  In this version, the car is a race-ready Jaguar XK120, and the goal is to drive the Jag in a road race that enters Mexico, and then just keep going south.
Whatever.  The plot is pretty thin and the only thing holding the flick together are the scenes with race cars.  I held out for an hour, almost, but not quite falling asleep, when WHAM - I was wide awake!   When  our hero pulls his Jag into the starting lineup, what should be directly behind him, but Harry Eyerly's legendary #54 Crosley special, the Porsche Duster, with  - I'm fairly certain - Harry Eyerly at the wheel!  After the Jag is out of the way, Harry idles up to his space in line and then rolls offscreen.  It's brief (15 seconds, maybe) but it was awesome to see Eyerly's car totally in context.
I hoped that the car would show up again in the racing footage that followed, but it only flashed by once as the cars took off.  I can't be 100% sure it was Eyerly driving, but it sure looks like his helmet, and, why would they have someone else drive it? 
I watched the movie on Netflix instant play, but it's also on HULU and even on You Tube, although the picture quality is lower on You Tube.  If you don't want to sit through the whole thing, Eyerly comes in at almost exactly the one hour mark; in my book, he's the star of this flick.


smitty said...

The exhaust is wonderful! 4 pipes coming out the side!

Ol' Man Foster said...

Hmmm, i don't remember that 4 exhaust stack- i think that was a short-lived experiment. The extra weight probably cancelled any benefit over the dual pipe version.

The whole car is amazing. EVERYTHING that can be drilled, is. I think it weighed in at less than 750 pounds. I haven't seen it in years but it used to be at the vintage races fairly regularly.

Liv Moe said...

I'd of done it... after all, I made you watch 'Friday.'

Ol' Man Foster said...

Oh yeah... I had successfully blocked that out.