It all started last weekend with PRINCESS OF THE NILE (1954), with Anders as one of the lovely handmaidens. Next came FBI CODE 98 (1963), in which Anders played a secretary who fortuitously spills coffee, indirectly saving plane passengers from a bomb, and then came DEATH IN SMALL DOSES (1957), in which she's a truckstop waitress addicted to speed.
In VIOLENT ROAD, which was also the second trucking movie I've watched this week, Anders is simply The Girl in the Convertible, with her scenes bookmarking Brian Keith's entrance and exit from the film.
The film is fairly entertaining but with the underpinning of an interesting story it had the potential to be better than it ultimately was; the movie is weighed down by several characters' depressing back stories. For instance, the underutilized Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is a rocket scientist who inadvertently killed his wife and kids (!) when a launch went bad and a missile crashed into a school. A couple other characters are drinkers who constantly -- and tediously -- relieve past glory days on the college campus or during the war.
As an aside, unless one wishes to spend the entire evening watching characters smashed on alcohol, I don't recommend watching this as a double bill with the other movie I wrote about today, CLASH BY NIGHT (1952)!
On the plus side, the movie was shot near Lone Pine, California, and some of the scenes are starkly beautiful, with gorgeous cloud-filled skies. There are some nicely done nail-biting moments, and Brian Keith is quite believable as the nervy trucker heading up the job.
From a modern perspective, it's rather fascinating to see something so dangerous being done in such an...unregulated...fashion! The rocket company works with the military but there's no government involvement in the move, the men just hop in trucks and do it, including a last-minute kid driver (Sean Garrison) who jumps in a truck when one of the original crew is too drunk to drive. The truckers meet some resistance from police at one point but otherwise they just get on the road and go.
Dick Foran plays a former war hero, with Ann Doran as his long-suffering wife. The cast also includes Joanna Barnes, Perry Lopez, Arthur Batanides, Ed Prentiss, John Dennis, Peter Brown, and Venetia Stevenson.
This 86-minute movie was shot in black and white by Carl Guthrie and directed by Howard W. Koch. The Richard Landau screenplay was from a story by Don Martin. IMDb indicates this is a version of a French film, THE WAGES OF FEAR (1953), which in turn was remade as SORCERER (1977), which was recently restored.
VIOLENT ROAD is a Warner Bros. film which does not appear to have had a release on DVD or VHS, but it's been shown on Turner Classic Movies, so it may turn up there again in the future.