Red Line 7000

Gail Hire and Skip Ward in a publicity still for Red Line 7000 (1965).  Skip was born in Cleveland and had 48 acting credits, from a 1958 tv episode to a 1984 episode of Walker Texas Ranger.  Most of Skip’s credits were on tv, but he was also in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Nutty Professor, The Night of the Iguana, Kitten with a Whip, Kiss Me Stupid, Is Paris Burning, Hombre, Easy Come Easy Go (w/Elvis), and Myra Breckinridge.

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Gail Hire, Charlene Holt and Norman Alden in a publicity still for Red Line 7000 (1965)

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Laura Devon enters The Snake Pit with Gail Hire at the door in a scene from Red Line 7000 (1965)

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Laura Devon and Gail Hire at The Pit Stop bar, restaurant and entertainment complex in Red Line 7000 (1965)

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Gail Hire, Marianna Hill and Skip Ward behind the scenes of Red Line 7000 (1965)

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Gail Hire, Marianna Hill and Skip Ward in a tense dramatic scene from Red Line 7000 (1965).

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Gail Hire, Laura Devon, Charlene Holt, and an unidentified woman behind the bar, in a scene from Red Line 7000 (1965).  Charlene is seen to better advantage in Howard Hawks’ previous film, Mans Favorite Sport, as Rock Hudson’s girlfriend, and in Hawks’ next film, El Dorado, as part of a Hawks triangle with John Wayne and Robert Mitchum.

Red Line 7000

Marianna Hill, Gail Hire, and Laura Devon are at the track to watch their race car driver boyfriends in Red Line 7000 (1965).  Everyone else in the frame is modeling sunglasses.

I recently saw the Blu-ray copy of Red Line 7000, the first time it was released in its original wide-screen format.  It was never released on video or dvd, and when it was shown on cable, it was always panned and scanned.  The wide screen does not improve on one of Howard Hawks’ four weak films.  Most of Hawks’ discoveries should have remained undiscovered.  James Caan, George Takei, Norman Alden and Charlene Holt are fine, but the other actors are uniformly weak, and in need of sunglasses.

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Gail Hire and Laura Devon in a scene from Red Line 7000 (1965)

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Gail Hire behind the wheel in a scene from Red Line 7000 (1965)

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none of Howard Hawks’ discoveries in this 1965 publicity still were able to parlay their big break into an acting career.  Lack of acting ability and zero screen magnetism were factors.

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John Robert Crawford is victorious in Red Line 7000 (1965).

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Gail Hire and John Robert Crawford are an unappealing couple on Red Line 7000 (1965).  It was their screen debuts, and neither made another film, or were even seen on tv.

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Charlene Holt makes her second of three Howard Hawks films in Red Line 7000 (1965), after Mans Favorite Sport, and before El Dorado.  Norman Alden was also in Mans Favorite Sport.  Gail Hire only made this one film.

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Howard Hawks’ three female discoveries for Red Line 7000 (1965), from left to right, Gail Hire, Marianna Hill and Laura Devon, all should have stayed undiscovered, although Laura wasn’t bad.