Ahead of it's time satirical epic about a race car driver's affair with his female mechanic.
Love in High Gear provides a nuanced and subtle treatment of gender in depression era Chicago. Centering around Donald Ransome, a former race car champion whose career is in decline, and Betty, the sassy female mechanic working on a revolutionary engine design that may revive Donald's career, the film openly criticizes many societal attitudes of the time as they related to women, homosexuality and affirmative action legislation. Harrison Ford shines in his last ever role, capping off a sparkling career for the silent era superstar.
Prospective viewers should note that this is a silent production, so it can be a bit uncomfortable always having to look at the screen to read the subtitles, and one feels this film could benefit from some color restoration (how long did it take for directors to work out that black and white film is BORING!), but at the same time this is a powerful film with a positive social outlook that we could all learn from today. The director was ahead of his time and if you liked this film then you should also check out Behind Stone Walls which tackles similar themes from a very different outlook.
Five out of six stars.
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