This adaptation of an Ellery Queen story begins with Paul (James Westmoreland, billed here as Rad Fulton) and three other teenage punks – Arnie (Nicholas King), Vince (Robert Levin) and Dirk (Jim Bridges) – admiring a parked T-Bird sports car and about to take it for a joy ride, when they are surprised by its owner, middle-aged Miles (Regis Toomey) who orders them away and is met with a barrage of abuse.
They break into Miles’ garage a few nights later, and he catches them and threatens to call the police.
Paul tells Miles they want his car for a ride and will have it sooner or later. The young hoods then launch a campaign of terror against Miles and his wife.
Paul gradually realises he derives more pleasure from frightening Miles than from trying to get the T-Bird, and one day the young hoods force their way into Miles’ home and brutally attack his wife, Grace (Ann Doran) when she refuses to produce the car keys.
Believing that Miles is now in his power, Paul meets him to take delivery of the car. But when Paul steps into the car, Miles pulls a gun and orders him to drive out of town at breakneck speed.
The more frightened Paul becomes, the more dangerously Miles makes him drive until finally, in tears, Paul begs to be allowed to end his “joy ride.”
Miles directs him to pull up in front of the police station, and Paul’s arrest is followed by that of the other three boys.
The film was released in the US as part of a double bill with Unwed Mother.
James Westmoreland (as Rad Fulton)