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Hell's Highway: The True Story of Highway Safety Films

Hell's Highway: The True Story of Highway Safety Films (2002)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1



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User Ratings: 252

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Movie Info

As the 1950s drew to a close, high school hygiene films and VD cautionary tales gave birth to another, far more graphic sort of fear-inducing curriculum: the driver's-ed movie. Bearing such titles as Signal 30, The Third Killer, Wheels of Tragedy, and Highways of Agony, these films -- usually produced by the Highway Safety Foundation -- intercut staged, fictional tales of impudent hot-rodders and drunk-driving, non-safety-belt-wearing teens with actual accident footage. Director Bret Wood


Documentary, Special Interest

Oct 28, 2003

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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (3) | DVD (2)

Maybe the next best thing to putting 'Deadman's Curve' on the turntable and cranking up the volume.

September 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Someday, perhaps, someone will make a documentary of Volvo commercials and Consumers Union test-drive videos, but I doubt it will be as unnerving -- or as much fun -- as Hell's Highway.

June 28, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Director Bret Wood -- no relation to Ed -- sketches the fascinating history of Wayman's highway safety films.

June 26, 2003
New York Post
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An unfunny comedy and somewhat murky exposť.

June 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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Winds up functioning no differently than the disgraceful, despicable films it scrutinizes.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

The interviews with Prelinger are especially smart, discussing the ideological agendas frequently lurking in 'educational' materials.

August 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Wood delights in exposing the rubbernecking roots of these lurid films...

November 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

The real highlights in Hell's Highway are the driver's ed scare films themselves, and [director] Wood has presented a generous sampling of often flabbergasting clips.

October 17, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters

How effective were the highway safety films in stopping accidents? Opinions differ. How effective is Hell's Highway in curing you of ever wanting to see another one? Completely.

August 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Ephemeral films expert Rick Prelinger is on hand to situate the films in a larger cultural context but the clips speak louder than any interview, evoking a pre-seatbelt era of highway carnage and celluloid tough love.

June 28, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This not-for-the -squeamish documentary will definitely make you think twice about not buckling up.

June 28, 2003 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Oddly nostalgic.

June 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

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