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Speedway (1929)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance | Sport  -  7 September 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 498 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Bill Whipple is a happy-go-lucky mechanic for MacDonald who thinks that he is the worlds greatest driver and lover. Mac has treated Bill like a son since he took him in. One day at the ... See full summary »



(story), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: Speedway (1929)

Speedway (1929) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Complete credited cast:
Bill Whipple
Patricia 'Pat' Bonner
Ernest Torrence ...
Jim MacDonald
Karl Dane ...
John Miljan ...
Lee Renny
Eugenie Besserer ...
Mrs. MacDonald
Polly Moran ...


Bill Whipple is a happy-go-lucky mechanic for MacDonald who thinks that he is the worlds greatest driver and lover. Mac has treated Bill like a son since he took him in. One day at the track, Bill sees Pat Bannon, and tries his best to impress her, but to no avail. On his way to catch a flight, he tricks Pat into taking him to the airport and she gets even by taking him up in a plane. He hates to fly, but will not show her that he is afraid and when the plane breaks up, he is a hero for rescuing her. This gets him publicity and Renny offers him his car to drive in the Indianapolis 500. Bill breaks with Mac to drive the car and puts it on the pole for the race. Then Renny double crosses Bill and plans to drive the car himself since Bill has tuned it so well. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Talking COMEDY! (original poster)


Drama | Romance | Sport





Release Date:

7 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Speedway  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to contemporary newspaper reports, the cast and crew filmed scenes on location in Indianapolis for three weeks. The main cast did much of their own driving at the actual Indianapolis Motor Speedway. See more »

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User Reviews

Worth Watching for the Indy 500 Footage
25 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Speedway (1929)

** (out of 4)

William Haines' final silent film has him playing the same type of part he did throughout the decade. In the film he plays Bill Whipple, a cocky race car driver who thinks he's the greatest thing in the world. He eventually sells out his best friend (Ernest Torrence) and gets overlooked by a girl (Anita Page) he has his eye on but soon Bill starts to realize that he's not as great as he thought. SPEEDWAY isn't a very memorable film and it's safe to say that the screenwriters simply copied earlier Haines' films as this thing doesn't offer anything original or fresh. If you really want to see Haines in a good role and film it's best to check out TELL IT TO THE MARINES or SPRING FEVER because this one here just doesn't cut it. I think when you mention Haines' name today you're going to find many film buffs who simply hate him and I can understand this. The characters he played were such jerks that it's easy to see why so many people might be turned off but in terms of a performance I thought he was terrific because of how well and easy he made this character seem annoying. It's the characters that are annoying and not Haines' himself so I can't fault his performance. I do think this film goes way too far in terms of that cockiness because even I started to really hate this guy and I couldn't care what happened to him. One example takes place when Haines walks into a restaurant and gets upset because the menu isn't clean. Fine, a bad joke. However, instead of just letting it go this scene continues to play out to the point where it's certainly not funny and you can't help but really start to hate the character because of how he's acting. Haines and Page appeared in a few films together but their chemistry here really isn't where it should be as the romance side of things never comes across. On their own both give fine performances but together there's just no spark. Torrence and Karl Dane are wasted in their supporting roles. The one interesting thing about this otherwise bland movie is that the race at the end was actually shot at the 1929 Indianapolis 500 and featured that events winner Ray Keech doing some work for this picture. It's strange to note that a man was killed during this actual race and that Keech himself would be killed during another race seventeen days later. Being able to see the actual event and how it looked in 1929 was certainly the highlight of the movie and the only real reason to watch this otherwise forgettable picture.

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