Red Line 7000

Marianna Hill and James Caan pose next to the Pepsi product placement in a scene from Red Line 7000 (1965).  At the time, Coke was America’s favorite soft drink, and Pepsi was a distant second, closer to RC Cola in popularity.

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

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Skip Ward and Marianna Hill are underwhelming in an original publicity still for 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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Marianna Hill behind the bar in a scene from Red Line 7000 (1965).  Even the set decoration is weak.

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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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Marianna Hill as Gabrielle with James Caan in a scene from Red Line 7000 (1965).  Marianne was born in Santa Barbara, California, and has 84 acting credits, from a 1960 tv episode to 2005.  Her other notable credits include two episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, episodes of The Untouchables, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Dr Kildare, The Outer Limits, Paradise Hawaiian Style with Elvis Presley, two episodes of Batman, an episode of Star Trek, My Three Sons, I Spy, Mayberry RFD, Medium Cool, Hogan’s Heroes, High Plains Drifter, Kung Fu, and The Godfather 2.

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James Caan and Marianna Hill in a publicity still for 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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Marianna Hill in an original publicity still for Red Line 7000 (1965)

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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.

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Howard Hawks in a publicity still with his latest discoveries in Red Line 7000 (1965).  Only James Caan became a movie star.  Charlene Holt and Norman Alden, bottom left and right, were able to pump out undistinguished careers.  Norman notably drowned in a bowl of chicken soup on  Norman Lear’s syndicated soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

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Red Line 7000

Marianna Hill in an original publicity still for Red Line 7000 (1965)

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Marianna Hill and James Caan in Red Line 7000 (1965).  James went on to co-star in Howard Hawks’ next film, the superior El Dorado (1966).  Marianna didn’t make much of an impression with her big break for Howard Hawks, but she was able to squeeze out a career that began in 1960 and ran through something called  Chief Zabu in 2016 and a total of 84 acting credits.

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Marianna Hill gets behind the wheel with James Caan in the passenger seat in Red Line 7000 (1965), but there are no female race car drivers in the film.