Phil Sandifer (Contino), a high-panted, smooth-crooning, truck-driving hepcat known by his friends as "Daddy-O", meets blond bombshell Jana Ryan (Giles) when she tries to run his truck off the road. Guy meets girl again at a nightclub, after which they have a drag race. Meanwhile, Daddy-O's best friend Sonny is run off the road by drug-dealing bad guys and dies in the crash. Though our hero is arrested and briefly accused of causing the accident himself, he is soon exonerated — but still gets his driver's license suspended.
Wanting to find out who's actually responsible for Sonny's death, Daddy-O turns detective and goes undercover as a singer at the bad guys' nightclub, where he belts out "Rock Candy Baby" and moonlights by driving the drug smugglers' car. Jana, wanting to help investigate, also takes a job at the club as a cigarette girl, against our hero's wishes. Somehow or other, though they bicker constantly, the good guys manage to fall in love and solve the crime.
The music score was composed by some newbie named John Williams. Whatever happened to him, anyhow?
Daddy-O provides example of the following tropes:
- The '50s
- Affably Evil: Sidney Chillis, who manages to stay level-headed no matter the situation... until his own considerable neck is on the line, that is.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Phil and Jana.
- Big Bad: Chillis
- Crash-Into Hello: When a crazy driver nearly causes a three-car pileup passing him on a hill, Phil forces the car off the road to confront the driver. Why, it's a pretty girl! (To his credit, Phil doesn't let this distract him. The construction crew are another story.)
- The Dragon: Bruce Green, the obnoxious gym manager with the extra-thick glasses he can't see without (though he can barely see with them). Becomes The Starscream when he tires of Chillis putting him down and decides to attempt a doublecross.
- Evil Versus Evil: The competing drug dealers with whom Sonny got involved, resulting in his death; though they never actually cross paths with Chillis during the movie, they make their presence known to Phil.
- Jerkass: Jana. A less likable love interest you'll be hard-put to find, especially since she's partially responsible for Phil losing his driver's license and initial job.
- Jerk Jock: Sydney's goofy thug sidekick, Bruce... who seems to be both this and a nerd at the same time. He must be seen to be believed.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Bruce gets left behind after attacking Phil during the final drug pickup, which is stated to be a 45-minute round trip (so, about 20 minutes each way, or roughly 20-25 miles). He then manages to return to Chillis' club, kidnap Jana and head back out to the delivery point, all in the amount of time it takes Phil to return from dumping him, call the police, go back to the club, and still be in the midst of his final showdown with Chillis.
- Police Are Useless: Averted. Phil's parole officer is very supportive in offering him help finding work and they do a thorough job at the end when finally called in to arrest the criminals.
- Visible Boom Mic: Shows up a couple of times, surprisingly not commented on by Joel and the bots.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the opening scene, "Daddy-O" is in his truck getting harassed on the road by the blond bombshell "heroine" (and future love interest). With him is a cute little pooch. However, after this scene, the dog's never seen, mentioned or heard from again. Also, he picks up the pizza waitress but we never see her again.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: When Phil forces Jana off the road to confront her about her bad driving, she immediately calls out to a nearby work crew that Phil has been harassing her on the highway. Naturally, because she has a pretty face, the work crew immediately take her side and dismiss Phil's protests out of hand, even when he pokes a large hole in her logic (namely, that her car could easily outpace his truck if she felt threatened).