Cast & Crew
Marcia Mae Jones
In Los Angeles, trucks operated by the Overland Transport Company are being sabotaged while making their interstate runs, and the drivers are frequently killed. Overland's owner, Pop Wallace, is unable to find new drivers because professional drivers are too scared to apply. Pop's daughter Patsy, meanwhile, hopes to marry the company's mechanic, Chick, and badgers him to be more assertive with her father. Loafer Frankie and his black friend, Jeff, read Pop's advertisement for drivers, and although Jeff is reluctant to work, they apply at the garage. Patsy, who sees in Frankie an opportunity to make Chick jealous, leads them to believe that Chick is the boss, and he hires them at her urging. Although Pop thinks Frankie is too young to handle the trucks, he agrees out of fear of losing his business. Pop then calls his insurance agent, Saunders, with whom he has been secretly splitting the insurance reimbursements from the accidents, and begs him to stop rival truck business owner Norton's thugs from forcing his trucks off the road. Although Pop protests that the accidents were supposed to have been minor, Saunders refuses to recall Norton's men. As Frankie and Jeff return from Fresno, Norton's saboteurs attempt to force their truck off the road, but instead Frankie is stopped by the police for speeding. Frankie and Jeff bring their cargo in early, and Pop refrains from reprimanding him for his six speeding tickets because he has gotten a bonus from the shipper. Pop next hires Chinese American George Lee, the son of an old friend, who has asked to work gratis in order to learn the trucking business. Although he is friendly, George lurks around the garage eavesdropping on conversations and peering into packing crates, ostensibly to learn the job from the ground up. Frankie tries to teach Jeff how to drive, but he is resistant. On their next assignment, the saboteurs succeed in forcing Frankie off the road, and he and Jeff are taken hostage by Norton's men, Marty and Dink, who are reluctant to kill them because they are so young. Jeff and Frankie are kept under guard by the mechanic, Ham Shanks, at Norton's garage. Pop finds it odd that Saunders knows about Frankie and Jeff's disappearance before he does, and threatens to go to the police if his men do not return unharmed. George overhears his telephone conversation and reveals that he is actually an insurance investigator. Pop, who buckled under to threats by Saunders and Norton because his business was failing, refuses to identify them until Jeff and Frankie return, but agrees to cooperate with George. Norton plans to murder his hostages, but Frankie and Jeff escape from Ham Shanks and take their truck back to Pop's garage. When they discover that the crates are loaded with bricks rather than canned goods, Frankie goes into the office to confront Pop, but finds him lying unconscious on the floor. After taking the beaten Pop to the hospital, Frankie speculates that Pop was forced into the truck war for the insurance money, and everyone agrees to get evidence on Pop's behalf before calling the police. Chick and Patsy go to Saunders' apartment to seek his help, unaware that he is the mastermind. Frankie and Jeff take the truck back to Norton's garage and hide inside, and when Saunders arrives with Chick and Patsy as hostages, Frankie overhears him plotting with Norton. Frankie and Jeff are discovered and Chick and Patsy are thrown into the truck with them. Norton and Saunders drive the truck to a remote road, intending to get rid of their hostages, but are stopped by the police for speeding, and the delay permits George to catch up and have the criminals arrested. Patsy then yells at Frankie for allowing "her" Chick to be harmed.