| Hell Drivers sees James Bond (Sean Connery),
Doctor Who (William Hartnell), one of the men from
UNCLE (David McCallum), the Prisoner (Patrick
McGoohan) and a Professional (Gordon Jackson),
all supporting Stanley Baker in this hard-as-nails
British action picture realistically set in a bleak late-1950s England.
Baker plays Tom Yately, an ex-con who takes the only job he can get;
truck driving at breakneck speeds for a corrupt manager (Hartnell)
and brutal foreman (McGoohan).
The constant short runs and competition between the drivers makes
for an intense atmosphere which inevitably explodes into violence.
Baker's only friend is an Italian ex-POW played sensitively by Herbert
Lom, while Peggy Cummings is a remarkably
free-spirited heroine for a British film of the time.
Baker himself is superb, quietly tough, and broodingly charismatic,
McGoohan is compellingly malevolent and Hartnell simply chilling.
The film is consistently engrossing and often exciting, even when
the plot spirals into melodrama towards the finale.
One has to wonder where the police are during all this mayhem,
but the fact that the screenplay, by John Kruse and Cy Endfield,
received a BAFTA nomination suggests the scenario was at least
Endfield also directed this, the second of six films he would helm
for Baker, the most famous of which would be the all-time classic, Zulu (1964).