Daddy-O (1958)

An entertaining little potboiler with rock, drag racing, beautiful girls, and a score by John Williams (yes, THAT John Williams, apparently), DADDY-O – if not, like, the most, cats, it’s at least an above-average 1950s exploitation picture.

Dick Contino is Phil, a truck driver who moonlights as a rock ‘n’ roll singer at the local teen club (just like young Elvis, man). He meets a gorgeous woman (Sandra Giles of LOST, LONELY & VICIOUS) who loves hot cars and fast men and who challenges him to a midnight race through Griffith Park. Phil is arrested for drag racing, and in fact is under suspicion for vehicular homicide, because a guy named Sonny (who just happens to be Phil’s best friend) was killed in the park that night. Phil is cleared of that charge, but in trying to uncover the real killer, puts himself and his new sweet-patootie in danger from drug runner Sidney Chillas (Bruno Ve Sota).

Favorite moment: Phil asks his sweetie if she’d like to hear him sing; she says, “Your singing can’t be any worse than your driving.” He immediately proves her wrong by ripping into a song called “Rock Candy Baby” that’ll make you long for the melodious and lyrically mesmerizing “Nobody Lives on the Brownsville Road” from EEGAH! or even “Do the Jellyfish” from STING OF DEATH.

Second favorite moment: Phil “quietly sneaking” from a back alley into a gym to look for evidence in Sonny’s death; he makes more noise than Keith Moon.

Least favorite moment: Nude, sweaty Bruno Ve Sota, hot from a steam bath, getting a rubdown. It’s like watching somebody try to sculpt a replica of Mt. Rushmore in jello.

Second and third least favorite moments: Phil (who has adopted the professional name of “Daddy-O”) sings “Angel Eyes” and “Wait’ll I Get You Home”. For some reason, his pants are pulled way, way up, so that his belt is roughly in the middle of his chest. This apparently helps him hit the high notes.