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For other uses, see Daddy-O (disambiguation).
Daddy-O (1958 movie poster).jpg
Directed by Lou Place
Produced by Elmer C. Rhoden, Jr.
Written by David Moessinger
Starring Dick Contino
Sandra Giles
Bruno Vesota
John McClure
Music by John Williams
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release dates
  • March 1958 (1958-03)
Running time
74 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100,000

Daddy-O is a 1958 B-movie starring Dick Contino. It was directed by Lou Place and written by David Moessinger. The film is notable for its soundtrack as being the debut film score for John Williams. The film was releasedby American International Pictures as a double feature with Roadracers. It was later featured as a movie mocked by Mystery Science Theater 3000.


Hotshot street-racer Phil Sandifer (Contino) is working as a truck driver when he is harassed by a sports car driving on the highway. He later meets up with the driver, Jana (Giles), in a local club. Jana challenges Phil to a race; Jana cheats, and Phil loses. At the same time, his best friend Sonny is run off the road and killed by an unidentified assailant (VeSota).

Later at the club, Phil is arrested for destruction of city property and trespassing in the area they raced through, reckless driving, and hit-and-run and manslaughter for Sonny's death. The hit-and-run and manslaughter charges are dropped. But he is found guilty of the other three charges. He is let off on probation, but is stripped of his driver's license. Phil quickly launches into an investigation into the murder, his first suspect being Jana. She denies any involvement, and joins Phil in his investigation. He follows the trail of clues to nightclub owner Chillas (Sonny's assailant), and Chillas's lackey Bruce, who runs the gym Sonny used to frequent. Chillas hires Phil as a singer under the alias of "Daddy-O".

Not long after being hired, Phil is beaten up by a couple of drug dealers who have mistaken him for Pete Plum, a pseudonym used by Sonny. Phil draws the conclusion that Sonny had been moving money around for Chillas, and that he had stolen some of the money and was killed as a result. Phil confronts Chillas with the information, and they confront one another in a liquor cellar. Phil manages to knock Chillas out, and soon the police arrive and arrest him and Bruce. The movie ends just as Phil is asked to sing.



The film was released by AIP on a double bill with Roadracers.[1]


  • In the 1994 hit film Pulp Fiction, a poster for Daddy-O is visible during scenes taking place in the 1950s nostalgia restaurant "Jack Rabbit Slim's".
  • In 1994 author James Ellroy wrote Hollywood Nocturnes, a collection of short stories, one of which was titled Dick Contino's Blues, a fictional take on the making of the film and surrounding back story starring Dick Contino.
  • In 1976 in the longplay Ramones the song "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement (Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone)".


  1. ^ Gary A. Smith, American International Pictures: The Golden Years, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 104

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