The Lively Set

The Lively Set is a 1964 American In Color action drama sport film directed by Jack Arnold and starring James Darren, Pamela Tiffin, Doug McClure and Joanie Sommers.[1]

The Lively Set
1964 theatrical poster
Directed byJack Arnold
Produced byWilliam Alland
Screenplay byMel Goldberg
William Wood
Story byMel Goldberg
William Alland
StarringJames Darren
Pamela Tiffin
Doug McClure
Joanie Sommers
Music byBobby Darin
CinematographyCarl E. Guthrie
(as Carl Guthrie)
Edited byArchie Marshek
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • October 24, 1964 (1964-10-24)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States


Casey Owens (James Darren), a young mechanic, has developed a design for a turbine car engine, paving the way for a jet-powered auto certain to set a new land speed record. Wealthy playboy Stanford Rogers (Peter Mann) hires Casey to build the car for him to race in the Tri-State Endurance Run. Chuck Manning (Doug McClure), an engineering student Casey met in a drag race, discovers potential flaws in the car's design. After an unsuccessful test run, Rogers abandons the turbine-powered car for a traditional racing model, but Casey and Chuck rework the turbine vehicle to compete with Rogers in the endurance run. Pamela Tiffin plays Eadie, Chuck's sister who becomes Casey's love interest.



Filming started January 1964.[2] Bobby Darin was hired to write three songs for the film but Universal were so pleased with the results they got him to do the whole score.[3]

The Turbine Car

The turbine car used in the film is the famous 1963 Chrysler Ghia Turbine Car developed by George Huebner and his team. The car's engine is realistically described in the film, particularly Chrysler's use of heat regenerators which cooled the turbine car's exhaust to a temperature even lower than that of a traditional piston engine.

The Chrysler Turbine Car is mentioned in the opening credit of the film. Chrysler had to participate in the film's development, since the car was the exclusive property of the corporation and its patented engine design was extensively advertised as the "engine of the future."[4]


The Los Angeles Times called it "the most awful little time waster".[5]


The Lively Set was nominated at the 37th Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing (Robert Bratton).[6]


  1. LIVELY SET, The Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 32, Iss. 372, (Jan 1, 1965): 25.
  2. Ex-Tribunite, Too: Pamela Tiffin a Busy Actress, Model, Student and Housewife Pauley, Gay. Chicago Tribune 19 Dec 1963: e1.
  3. Churchmen's Look at 'Far-Out' Urged: Films 'Can Reveal Values'; 'Lady L' Back in the Running Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 21 May 1964: C11.
  4. Racing Cars Get Stellar Treatment Los Angeles Times 16 Sep 1964: C11.
  5. 'Lively Set' Anything but That Harford, Margaret. Los Angeles Times 30 Oct 1964: C16.
  6. "The 37th Academy Awards (1965) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2014-03-15.


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