High Gear (March 22, 1933)
Released March 22, 1933: When a race car driver crashes and his navigator dies, Mark loses his nerve and quits racing, and it takes a pretty reporter and the orphan son of his racing navigator to get him back into racing.
Directed by Leigh Jason
Written by Rex Taylor, Leigh Jason and Charles Saxton.
The Actors: James Murray (Mark 'High Gear' Sherrod), Joan Marsh (Anne Merritt), Jackie Searl (Jimmy Evans), Eddie Lambert (Jake Cohen, janitor), Ann Brody (Mrs. Cohen), Theodore von Eltz (Larry 'keyhole' Winston), Mike Donlin (Ed Evans), Lee Moran (Howard, mechanic), Marion Sayers (Mamie), John Sinclair (Mulligan), Winifred Drew (Mrs. Wolloughby), Douglas Haig (Percy), Don Brodie (Stokes, nightclub patron), Georgia Caine (taxi customer), Allan Cavan (Dr. Parker), Gordon De Main (Major Edwards, Military Academy Commandant), Olin Francis (credit company representative), Wesley Giraud (Smitty), George O'Hanlon (reporter nad grandstand spectator).
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This copy of the motion picture "High Gear" has seen some wear and tear, but it is still a great look at city life during the Great Depression and how good neighbors and skunks each have their way in the rise and fall of the well to do. Our movie opens with 'High Gear' Mark Sherrod at the wheel of one of the fastest race cars of 1933. His buddy is his navigator . . . you see, in 1933 it took TWO men to race a car. Nascar fans will love this view of main stream auto racing in the days of prohibition, when nascar was also learning to go fast.
During a big race Mark has an accident, and his buddy navigator is killed. Mark feels responsible for his young son, and promises to finance his dream of attending a military acadamy. But there is one tiny problem . . . when Mark tries to practice for the next race, with a new navigator, his mind plays tricks on him and he loses his nerve, and gives up racing. And without the big payday's from racing, he descends into poverty, finally taking the lowest job a race car driver could ever imagine - driving a taxi cab. Mark blusters his way through life humiliated that he no longer has the means to support his buddy's son in military school, and he stays away from the young girl reporter that he had a crush on. We see the rough and tough side of life in the streets of the big city, and we see Mark facing every crisis as best as he can, until he is backed against the wall and must drive fast again, both to save the little boy, and to regain his driving moxy.
Even if you are not a car racing fan, your heart will go out to these good people as they take life on with both hands on the wheel. It is a great way to spend an hour while you are munching that bowl of hot buttered popocorn that you just made.