In 1959, a few years before Kenneth Anger filmed young men buffing their aluminum hubcaps in Kustom Kar Kommandos, Sid Davies and Haile Chace made this evocative roadster documentary, Ingenuity in Action for Hot Rod Magazine. Sid Davies was the master of the shock doc, whose educational films about Stranger Danger, or at-risk teenagers in Age 13; or the side-effects of LSD, formed the source material for John Waters’ movies on juvenile delinquents, psychotic killers and cry babies.
Ingenuity in Action is perhaps best seen at a fifties Drive-In, as there is a lack of close-ups and mid-shots to create a necessary sense of pace and dramatic tension for small screen viewing. Even so, the film captures a delightful sense of those seemingly innocent, by-gone days, when people celebrated their enjoyment of sleek, speedy racing cars, under wide, blue, cloud-freckled skies.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
With thanks to Iya Vinogradova