5.7/10
378
19 user 1 critic

The Big Wheel (1949)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 4 November 1949 (USA)
A brash young midget car race driver lives in the shadow of his famous father, a drunken womanizer, who was killed in an accident years earlier.

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Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Lou Riley
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Mary Coy
...
...
Dolores Raymond
...
Minnie (as Hattie McDaniels)
...
George
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Deacon Jones
...
Reno Riley (as Dick Lane)
Eddie Kane ...
Charles Irwin ...
Drunk
Kippee Valez ...
Carla
...
Doctor
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Storyline

Billy Coy comes to Carrell. His late father's mechanic Red hires Billy as a mechanic. Soon, Billy gets a job as a driver. Written by Daniel Ljungberg <meen@df.lth.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Actually filmed at the famous Indianapolis 500-mile race classic and the nation's top speedways! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Thundering Wheels  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The portion of the film set in Indianapolis used footage shot at the actual 1949 Indy 500 time trials and race, and other footage at the track. Other than Mickey Rooney's character Billy Coy, driving car #6, most of the drivers and car numbers cited by the announcer in the movie were the actual entrants in that race. Car #6 was actually driven by Lee Wallard who completed only 55 laps of the race. As in the movie, the race was won by #7, Bill Holland, but he actually won by a huge margin and didn't relinquish the trophy to another driver. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Billy crashes his car. A radio announcer is giving a play-by-play description of his rescue. A man and a woman listening to the radio smile and show relief - before the announcer says that Billy has been pulled from the wreckage unhurt. See more »

Quotes

Red Stanley: The way I figure it, another thousand dollars and she'll be ready for Indianapolis.
Reno Riley: I wouldn't give you another buck and a half.
Red Stanley: But Reno, this is the fastest iron in the business!
Reno Riley: How many years have you been takin' this pile of junk to the race, Red? Six? Seven?
Red Stanley: Eight.
Reno Riley: And you never even qualified.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the following written acknowledgements: "Grateful acknowledgement for their invaluable assistance is made to the AAA, the URA, the Racing Drivers of America, the Indianapolis Speedway and Mr. Wilbur Shaw." See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Pickers: What Happens in Sturgis... (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Que Bueno
Written by Kermit Goell and Fred Spielman
Sung by Lina Romay at nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

My dad's crash is in this movie!
6 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

Perhaps the fondest memories of my father's life were those involving his one and only entry in the Indy 500 from 1949, the event chronicled in this movie.

My dad, George Lynch, crashed after the first lap, hitting the wall in the first turn near the camera bay. The event is captured in the film, with the racetrack announcer calling his name. Figures that my dad's one and only Indy mishap is captured forever on film.


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