Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Time to Triumph

Edward Turner the screenplay? Apparently so.

LOGLINE: A Time to Triumph: Genius wildcat engineer tanks when his motorcycle factory is destroyed in the Blitz but he turns the corner to kickstart more than just his own life.
Brief Thematic Synopsis
Motorcycle enthusiast, Edward Turner, the brilliant if fiery design engineer behind Triumph Motorcycles, suffers tragic losses at the beginnings of World War II in London, England. His wife dies in an auto accident. He is distraut, a single parent of four beautiful children. And the war starts. The factory is bombed and they move. It's bombed again, destroyed utterly. Somehow he musters resources to rebuild and to push-start his life anew, for countless lives are at stake.
Heroic efforts by Turner engender heroic acts in others. It's the way things are. Everywhere in and around London tragedy seems to have an upper hand, still the people triumph. There's no time for frustration, a luxury of the past. There is only a rising-to-the-occasion, doing whatever it takes to help any and everyone simply survive one more day and to make the best of it.
Based on a true story, it begins when Turner, on a motorcycle, gets away from the office to go riding with friends.. He speeds ahead to ditch them for a rendezvous with a pretty actress at a pub for Laughs. Mrs. Turner is away in Coventry driving with the actress's mother and two other friends. Killed that day in a one car crash their deaths mark the top of a downward spiral for Edward Turner. The actress blames him for her mother's death and won't see him. He drinks more often. Still, his children are a lifeline and he forces himself to straighten up and to be cheery for them.
There is an international TT motorcycle race in England. Two German bikes win but they are driven, because of accidents, by British riders. But Triumph places poorly. Despite rumors of war with Germany, everyone gets along. Brits want peace and avoid talking about war. Turner detests the races. Triumph goes on to win other big races.
Rows of flashy motorcycles line up for export. War, finally, is declared. Triumph immediately gets a government contract to produce motorcycles for the army. It looks as if war is good for business. But the factory gets bombed. Rebuilt. Turner's personal secretary, Ms. Plant, hides his liquor and stands up to him. The French order motorcycles for thier war effort. Triumph production hits 300 motorcycles per week. Serious business.
The coventry factory is bombed. All technical records, drawings and designs are destroyed. Turner is drinking again, says he plans to enlist.. Nothing left. Ms. Plant chides him, "We can get a good design engineer anywhere. Look here." With a burned splinter of wood she makes a crude charcoal drawing of a motorcycle on a small spared section of factory floor. She fights tears. Turner picks up a burned stick to add to the drawing. But there is a commotion, he is called away. An unexploded bomb ...
Production begins again at the new factory in Warwick with Turner making it happen. Already another move is planned to Meridian at the very center of England. From Turner's late nights at the drawing board, Triumph supplies generators and other aircraft components for the RAF. Triumph develops a target towing winch for the Navy. For the Army, two-wheeled stretcher carriers, track links, steering housings, and things creep along assembly lines or glide over rollers. Rows of dull painted motorcycles are hammered into crates, stacked, loaded into army trucks and going to war.
Hot headed, Turner leaves Triumph early in '42 to work for BSA, British Small Arms and Motorcycles, as chief designer. Returning to Triumph late in '42, he negotiates for an unprecedented 5% of net. "But this is a time of war!" And Turner replies , "Yes, it is, isn't it. We're on the same side, mind you. This is a win-win situation."

So who would you cast to play Turner? Philip Seymour Hoffman maybe?

1 comment:

Flathead45 said...

Now I know where Geekbobber gets his fashion sense. I could never understand why he donned snow-white linen pants every time we went riding...