66 user 31 critic

Hot Rods to Hell (1967)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 27 January 1967 (USA)
While on a business trip just before Christmas, Tom Phillips gets into a car accident, which was caused by the reckless driving of the other car involved. Although Tom suffered no paralysis... See full summary »


John Brahm


Robert E. Kent (screenplay), Alex Gaby (short story)


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Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Tom Phillips
Jeanne Crain ... Peg Phillips
Mimsy Farmer ... Gloria
Laurie Mock ... Tina Phillips
Paul Bertoya Paul Bertoya ... Duke
Gene Kirkwood Gene Kirkwood ... Ernie
Jeffrey Byron ... Jamie Phillips (as Tim Stafford)
George Ives George Ives ... Lank Dailey
Hortense Petra Hortense Petra ... Wife at Picnic
William Mims William Mims ... Man at Picnic
Paul Genge ... Policeman
Peter Oliphant Peter Oliphant ... Little Boy
Harry Hickox ... Bill Phillips
Charles Thompson Charles Thompson ... Charley (as Charles P. Thompson)
Mickey Rooney Jr. ... Combo Leader


While on a business trip just before Christmas, Tom Phillips gets into a car accident, which was caused by the reckless driving of the other car involved. Although Tom suffered no paralysis from his back injury, he did come out of the accident with a chronic back problem which results in him not being able to continue with his current work, and a mental block having anything to do with the accident, including Christmas music, driving in general and the sounds of screeching tires and breaking glass. The Phillips - Tom, his wife Peg, and their two children, teenager Tina and pre-teen Jamie - end up moving from their Boston home and buying a motel in Mayville in the California desert. Tom would be physically able to do the work required running a motel, and the dry heat is good for his back. But as they approach Mayville, they encounter a bunch of reckless hot rodders named Duke, Ernie and Gloria. Since Tom scolds them about their reckless behavior, they decide to make the Phillips' ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They're souped up for thrills and there's no limit to what they'll do! See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 January 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

52 Miles to Terror See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Laurie Mock, who plays Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crain's good girl daughter, is a bad girl hippie in the same years' counter-culture exploitation flick, Riot on Sunset Strip in which this movies' bad girl, Mimsy Farmer, plays the good girl daughter of another veteran actor, Aldo Ray. Also, Gene Kirkwood, who plays Laurie Mock's bad boy guy-friend in Riot, is Mimsy's bad boy guy friend in this movie. And Tim Rooney, Mickey Rooney's son, co-stars with all three in Riot. Meanwhile, in this movie, Tim's brother, Mickey Rooney Jr. (both sons of Mickey Rooney) provides the third act's live soundtrack. See more »


It's Winter in Massachusetts, yet the trees, shrubs and grass outside the hospital after Dana Andrew's accident are lush & green. See more »


Tom Phillips: Let's see you laugh with these nails in your face!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Film was first released to theaters at 92 minutes. When the film was later aired on ABC network television, eight minutes of footage was added to the running time. The 100 minute TV version is now shown regularly on the TCM channel. See more »


Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Mark Mothersbaugh (2007) See more »


(No actual song titles given in the credits)
Written by Fred Karger and Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman
Performed by Mickey Rooney Jr and his Combo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

19 June 2004 | by markspangler1See all my reviews

The only bad thing about this movie is seeing an OBVIOUSLY uncomfortable Dana Andrews in what he knows is a major-league step down from his "Purple Heart", "Laura" and "Best Days of Our Lives" days. That's kind of sad, but it's good to see the old guy working... wondering how he ever got into this kind of exploitation flick. He seems also to be confused about those "darn 60s youth"! Why don't they just behave... plus seeing a legendary tough guy have to play it cowardly because he had an auto accident is interesting in a skin-crawling kind of way. You know the REAL Dana Andrews would've punched the lights out on these punks the first chance he got.

Somehow, though, you end up rooting for the delinquents. I'm not sure why, but there's something so stodgy and Reaganesque about the Andrew's character that you can't help but want to see these kids in their hepped-up cars pound him senseless.

And what about that sleezy hotel owner? He's a riot! So is the stilted dialogue.

Over all a fun, campy experience, if you don't mind seeing a Hollywood legend embarrass himself for the sake of a paycheck.

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