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Maniacs on Wheels (1949)
"Once a Jolly Swagman" (original title)

 -  Drama | Romance | Sport  -  1949 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 84 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

A simple factory worker becomes a successful motorcycle racer and becomes the darling of the high class society world.



(novel), (script), 2 more credits »
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Title: Maniacs on Wheels (1949)

Maniacs on Wheels (1949) on IMDb 7/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Fox
Bonar Colleano ...
Tommy Possey
Bill Owen ...
Lag Gibbon
Renée Asherson ...
Pat Gibbon
Thora Hird ...
Ma Fox
James Hayter ...
Pa Fox
Patric Doonan ...
Moira Lister ...
Dotty Liz
Sidney James ...
Dudley Jones ...
Duggie Lewis
Anthony Oliver ...
Derek Blake
Pauline Jameson ...
Mrs. Lewis
Russell Waters ...
Mr. Pusey
Sandra Dorne ...
Kay Fox


A simple factory worker becomes a successful motorcycle racer and becomes the darling of the high class society world.

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Drama | Romance | Sport


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Release Date:

1949 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Maniacs on Wheels  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film focuses on the sport of speedway racing which was hugely popular at the time of making. See more »


Referenced in A Profile of 'A Town Like Alice' (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

One of very few, if not the only Speedway Movie!
1 August 2004 | by (Burton On Trent. England) – See all my reviews

Once a Jolly Swagman was, for its time, a rather unusual film. Why? Because it featured Speedway Racing. Speedway in the pre-war days of the 1930s was brought over from Australia, a type of Dirt track racing. Stadiums used for greyhound races were adapted, shale put down and the sport took off in a big way. Wembley Stadium had over 100,000 people there to watch the England team against the Australians in the years following the war. So, the film was made, and was a success. Up and coming young actor Dirk Bogarde, and the wily young Bill Owen ( who went on to become famous in the British TV programme, The Last Of The Summer Wine) starred in it. The title? Well to answer Mr Kennett ( the only other person to comment wryly on this film) is because the sport originated down under, although I suspect Mr Kennett to be one of the famous Kennett brothers; Speedway Riders Themselves in the 1950s and 60s. Comment: Excellent British attempt to bring the sport to the film going public. 10 out of 10. August 2004.

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