The Naked Road (1959)

August 21st, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: William Martin | Cast: Jeanne Renner, Ronald Long, Art Koulias, Eileen Letchworth | UK drama 74’

Talking Pictures unearthes another offering for students of the archeology of the cinema with an exploitation quickie so obscure it didn’t even it make into ‘The Psychotronic Encyclopaedia of Film’.

Presumably meant for drive-ins, it would probably have got down a treat in church halls and – for it’s picture of capitalism at its most predatory – would probably also gone down a treat in the Soviet Union (although the line about the redemptive power of religion would have had to go).

Made back in the days when nice girls didn’t neck, but for the fifties music you’d think it was made in the early thirties. Every man the heroine encounters is a total jerk; while the district judge who preys on speeders in cahoots with the local highway patrolman is portrayed as so casually venal that when his victim asks how he’s expected to pay simply shrugs and declares “I don’t care who pays the fine”.

As it that weren’t all he promptly hands them over to a pair of white slavers who pump her full of dope in pursuit of their nefarious scheme. The judge we never see again but rest assured (SLIGHT SPOILER COMING:) his partners in crime are finally rounded up and sent up the river for the next five years. @RichardChatten


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