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Hot Rod (1950)

Approved | | Action, Drama | 22 October 1950 (USA)
A young man builds a hot rod despite the disapproval of his father, a Juvenile Court judge. Circumstantial evidence points to the innocent teenager when his car is involved in a hit-and-run accident and he must reconcile with his father.


Lewis D. Collins


Daniel B. Ullman (screenplay) (as Dan Ullman)


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Complete credited cast:
Jimmy Lydon ... David Langham (as James Lydon)
Art Baker ... Judge Langham
Gil Stratton ... Clarence 'Swifty' Johnson (as Gil Stratton Jr.)
Gloria Winters ... Janie Evans
Myron Healey ... Joe Langham - Policeman
Tommy Bond ... Jack Blodgett
Jean Dean Jean Dean ... Gloria
Bret Hamilton Bret Hamilton ... Paul - Joe's Partner
Marshall Reed ... John C. Roberts
Dennis Moore ... Motorcycle Patrolman
Sailor Vincent ... Holdup Man (as William Vincent)


David Langham, the youngest son of a hot-rod hating father, Judge Langham, buys an old jalopy but, out of respect for his father, doesn't convert it. He changes his mind when Jack Blodgett, the local speed demon, impresses David's girl, Janie Pitts, and David makes his car the fastest in town. Jack steals David's hot rod, and flees the scene of an accident he causes. The car is traced back to David, but the truth comes out in court, although David's father is still unhappy about the car... until David and his friend, Swifty Johnson, use it to apprehend some escaping robbers. The Judge decides to back a movement for building a hot-rod race track for the town. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

psychotronic film | See All (1) »


Speed-Crazy Kids in Hopped-Up Cars!


Action | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 October 1950 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


While the speedometer in David Langham's "blue" cut-down hot rod seemed to be working, the odometer only progressed one mile in all the running around and chasing. See more »


David's stolen car does not hit the car at the curb at all, but in the next shot the car has major side-swipe damage to it's left front fender. See more »

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User Reviews

Less exploitation film than I expected.
7 January 2020 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Before watching "Hot Rod", I also watched "The Devil on Wheels". Both films are low budgeted exploitation films from so-called 'Poverty Row Studios'....small outfits who filmed by renting out space at major studios...often at night. In general, these films were very quickly made, cheap and less than stellar. "The Devil on Wheels" is worse, as it was made by tiny PRC....whereas "Hot Rod" was really not terrible and that's a bit of a surprise because it's from Monogram.

Judge Langham has two sons, David and Joe. Joe is a respectable policeman and David is a teenager who is fascinated with hot rods. The judge hates hot rods and they show him in court lecturing teens about the dangers of hot rodding. Because of his hatred of these fast cars, he only lets David have a car if it's not souped up and isn't a speedster. However, the young man is soon accused of driving recklessly and causing an accident. What's next? See the film.

While few would consider "Hot Rod" a great film, it's not nearly the bad film I'd expected. Much of it is that while it isn't subtle, it isn't nearly as preachy as other cheap hot rodding films of the era and teenage driving isn't a black & white issue in the picture. The judge's son isn't a terrible kid and the problem isn't as simplistic as it was in "The Devil on Wheels" and other roadster films of the day. The acting isn't bad considering everything and the film is a decent time-passer--not some cheap exploitation pic.

By the way, look for the character 'Jack'. He was played by Tommy Bond...a guy who in his childhood years appeared in dozens of Little Rascals films. He usually played Butch the bully.

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