To Please a Lady

Synopsis: Mike Brannon is a former war hero turned midget car racer. His ruthless racing tactics have made him successful but the fans consider him a villain and boo him mercilessly. Independent, beautiful reporter Regina Forbes tries to interview him but is put off by his gruff chauvinism, and when Brannon's daredevil tactics cause the death of a fellow driver, he finds himself a pariah in the sport thanks to her articles. When she finds him earning money as a barnstorming daredevil driver hoping for a comeback, they begin to become mutually attracted.
Genre: Action, Romance, Sport
Director(s): Clarence Brown
Production: MGM
91 min

It's the most exciting

and the most dangerous sport in the world.

They're at it everywhere.

On paved tracks, dirt tracks and

dry lakes, from Florida to Frisco.

And they'll race anything.

Stock cars, hot rods, jazzed-up jalopies,

super-tuned specials...

...but not everybody

can drive them.

High speed takes cold nerves

and split-second timing.

It takes luck and the tops in skill,

because one slide in the wrong place...

...can turn a $ 20,000 racing car

into a heap of flaming junk.

Death is never far away when a man has

his foot stomped down on that throttle.

He can blow a tire, throw a wheel,

crash a wall...

...or spin and tangle with another car,

and then flip over and over and over.

There's a thrill every minute.

Those lead-foot boys always put on a show.

When you get a track full of high-powered

cars, this can happen anytime.

It's a game with flying starts

and sensational finishes.

It looks dangerous and it is dangerous.

But the purses make up

for the risks the drivers take.

Twenty-six thousand at Milwaukee,

17,000 at Langhorne, 22,000 at Atlanta.

The biggest money of all is at Indianapolis,

that fast and furious 500-miler.

This gigantic spectacle of speed

pays off $ 200,000.

The winner gets his face welded

in bas-relief on the Borg-Warner Trophy.

Here's Johnnie Parsons...

...two-time winner Tommy Milton,

three-time winner Louis Meyer.

Another three-time winner, Wilbur Shaw,

and another, Mauri Rose.

Nowadays, most Indianapolis contenders

also drive those mighty midgets.

They're capable of 150 miles an hour.

They draw 30 million fans.

Here's the most successful

of this season's drivers...

...Mike Brannan, Number 17,

winning again.

He's copped top money four times

out of five and the crowds hate him.

They've made a villain out of him.

They don't like his driving.

They come to see him spin out, blow up,

but he's got everything under control.

If he lives that long,

he'll be one of the greats...

- There's your man.

- You all remember Mike Brannan.

One of the few Marines to get the

Congressional Medal while alive.

But he never got a good-conduct medal.

You can see Mike and other leadfoots

jockeying their Thunderbugs on the IMRA.

Don't miss them.

Four nights a week at four stadiums:

Rockaway, Trenton, Newark, Bridgeport.

It's a sellout every show.

And you can see them every Thursday night

at Newark Speedway.

- Is that all there is of him?

- No, the studio interview follows this.

Back in the studios once again. I have with

me none other than Mike Brannan in person.

You're a bad character, they tell me.

How do you manage to win so much

with everybody gunning for you?

- I'm lucky, I guess.

- You use your head too, don't you?

Well, I study the track,

if that's what you mean.

I know what you can and can't do.

Well, with you on the loose,

I'll take the subway.

You going to win the main event

at Newark tonight?

Somebody's gotta win.

I'll be in there trying.

Now, tell me, Mike,

what was your biggest thrill?

Well, it's a long story. You see,

I met this blond on 34th Street...

Okay, Mike, glad to have you.

Come back anytime.

- There are you, Mike Brannan.

- Cut it.

See him and the rest

of the win-or-bust boys tonight at Newark.

- Well, what do you think of him?

- Give me his background.

Wild Indian as a kid. Widowed father.

Eastern state college.

No interest in anything but cars.

A lone wolf.

I'll bet women don't leave him alone

with all that sex.

I could feel it

coming right off that screen.

Drove at Indianapolis before the war.

Never in the money.

The war taught him a lot.

Tank driver in the Marine Corps.

Five stars on his Pacific Ribbon.

Navy Commendation.

He was full of medals.

Nationwide hero, now he's a villain.

- Makes him interesting.

- He's a natural for your feature.

That sells papers, but it doesn't

make friends crucifying ex-celebrities.

With 40 million readers,

I've got a million-dollar business.

I'm not gonna crucify this guy.

It'll be a personality sketch, that's all.

We'll go over to the stadium

and catch his act.

But you've got the reception

for that U.N. Delegation.

- You should be leaving right now.

- I'll jam that in ahead.

This one's all right. Black on yellow.

You can see that a mile.

Let them know at Newark

I'll be out there.

Yes? Janie has Senator Brett on the wire

calling from Florida.

- I guess he didn't like yesterday's column.

- Not here.

Give him the brush, Janie.

Florida, did she say?

What's he doing in Florida, anyway?

Make a note about the boys playing hooky

while the Senate's in session.

But Senator Brett,

I haven't seen Miss Forbes all day.

- Would you like to talk to her manager?

- Oh, no.

I'll see she gets your message

as soon as she comes in.

I'll go and change. I won't have time. Pick

me up at the reception, we'll go to Newark.

- You can't go to Newark.

- Why not?

- What about Margaret?

- Margaret?

You know, the one who sings.

Well, tell her I'm sorry to miss

her recital. And send flowers.

- Are you going to eat?

- Something at the reception.

- They'll only have champagne.

- I'll fill up on hot dogs.

- Main event's gonna be terrific.

- Glad you're here.

Brannan's gonna have competition.

- Boys are all out to take him.

- That's him warming up now, Number 17.

- He's hard to beat.

- Right.

- He's mean and he never lets up.

- I've gotta watch him all the time.

Do you want to talk to him now

or after the race?

That'll cost you 10 bucks, Brannan.

- Are you all right?

- Yeah, I'm all right.

I'll talk to him now.

- What went on out there?

- Sock you 10 smackers.

- Were you trying to get a look at that dame?

- What dame? I was finding something out.

The track's heavier.

We gotta go lower in gears.

- Five-eighty?

- That'll do it.

- Take a look at that chassis.

- Nice-looking gal.

Hey, some dish.

- Looking for me, lady?

- Check these wheels.

Mike. Mike.

Somebody wants to talk to you.

This is the lady I told you was coming.

Mike Brannan, Regina Forbes.

- How do you do?

- How do you do?

What were you trying to do out there

just now, mow us down?

Well, I'm sorry. I didn't see you.

I'll be around when you're through,

Miss Forbes.

Well, what can we do for you

that hasn't already been done?

You can give your eyes a rest

and answer a few questions.

- I thought I'd do a feature on you.

- What's in it for me?

Nationwide publicity.

It's better than money in the bank.

Maybe it is to you.

Anything else to offer?

I suppose you have to be tough

to do this sort of thing.

You do if you want to win races.

You mean, somebody's got to lose,

but it isn't going to be you.

- That's how you used to fight your tank.

- That's how.

- Isn't that how you got where you are?

- Mike, you wanna take a look at this?

But where does all this get you?

Indianapolis again. Big car.

Okay, button it up.

After Indianapolis, then what?

Answer that yourself.

After you've put that column of yours

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Barré Lyndon

Barré Lyndon (pseudonym of Alfred Edgar) (12 August 1896 – 23 October 1972) was a British playwright and screenwriter. The pseudonym was presumably taken from the title character of Thackeray's novel. Born in London, he may be best remembered for three screenplays from the 1940s: The Lodger (1944), Hangover Square (1945) and The Man in Half Moon Street (1945). The latter was remade by Hammer Film Productions in 1959 as The Man Who Could Cheat Death. Lyndon began his writing career as a journalist, particularly about motor-racing, and short-story writer before becoming a playwright. His first play, The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, was made into an Edward G. Robinson film in 1939. After that success, Lyndon moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1941 to concentrate on writing for films full time. He was naturalised as a United States citizen in the United States District Court in Los Angeles as Alfred Edgar Barre Lyndon in 1952. Alfred Edgar had two sons, Roger Alvin Edgar (b. England, 1924) and Barry Davis Edgar (b. England, 1929) . more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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