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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
The producers acknowledge with thanks the co-operation of the Indianapolis Speedway Association, and the actual participation of world-famous racing drivers in recording scenes for this production. See more »
This is a typical William Haines silent film: brash young man makes an ass of himself and lets everyone down. Then he has a "right of passage" in his humiliation and comes back to win the day. No one could play this formula like Haines could, and the formula made him a top MGM star of the late 20s and into the early 30s.
Here he is a mechanic, but the opening scene has him waving to the crowds as Mac's (Ernest Torrence) racing car is towed through the downtown streets of Indianapolis. But Haines is waving and mugging to the crowds as though he is the racing star. He acts the same way when he spies Anita Page and tries to get her attention in a hash house. Haines plays a big goofy kid, and there's no one quite like him in silent films. He's not really a comic, but filmgoers of the era loved his silly antics.
After being a fool and falling for the rival's promises, Haines comes back to save the day (and the race) for old Mac. He also wins the girl.
SPEEDWAY is notable for its location shooting and exciting racing sequences. There's a sound-effect track tacked on to the racing finale but no talking sequences.
Haines and Page are an attractive couple and have chemistry. Torrence is also good as the gruff old man. Karl Dane plays a mechanic. Eugenie Besserer is the mother figure, and Polly Moran is funny as the hash house waitress. John Miljan is the evil Renny.
But this is a William Haines film all the way and he's hardly ever off screen......
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