The Racers

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The Racers
The Racers.jpg
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Written by Charles Kaufman, Hans Ruesch (novel)
Starring Kirk Douglas
Music by Alex North
Cinematography Joseph MacDonald
Edited by James B. Clark
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
May 24, 1955
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2,730,000[1]
Box office $1,750,000 (US rentals)[2]

The Racers is a 1955 film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Kirk Douglas and Bella Darvi.[3] The film is based on the book by Hans Ruesch entitled The Racer, based on the life of Rudolf Caracciola.[4]


Race-car driver Gino Borgesa meets a ballerina, Nicole Laurent, whose pet poodle causes a crash at the track. She persuades an ex-lover to give Gino money for a new car. They begin a romance, although Gino warns her that his racing comes first.

After winning a 1,000-mile race, Gino is hired by a successful racing team managed by Maglio, who is leery of Gino's reckless driving tactics but takes a chance on him at the urging of veteran driver Carlos Chavez.

Nicole is troubled by Gino's unconcerned attitude about a mechanic accidentally killed at the track. A crash at a race in Brussels seriously injures Gino, whose leg is not amputated only because Nicole persuades doctors not to perform the operation.

Once he recovers, Gino begins taking painkillers as well as unnecessary risks. His behavior, too, is out of control, causing him to insult Michel Caron, a young French driver who admires him. Nicole is offended, and the last straw comes when Gino relentlessly wins the final race of Carlos's career, even after Maglio instructed him to let Carlos have one last victory.

In time, Gino's stature in racing begins to fall, and he is alone. He begs Nicole to return, but she is involved with Michel now. A contrite Gino returns to the track, where he willingly lets Michel speed past him.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p249.
  2. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
  3. ^ "The Racers". All Movie Guide. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Automobile Quarterly 2005 "In 1953, 20th Century Fox bought the rights to a book by Hans Ruesch entitled The Racer, based on the life of pre-war ace Rudolph Caracciola. Screenwiter Charles Kaufman changed the time from the 1930s to the present 1950s, and the title to The Racers. Fox sent a crew to film the Grands Prix and sportscar races in Europe during the 1954 season. The opening scene was a race at Monte Carlo, an event which was created by...

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