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Greased Lightning (1977)

The true life story of Wendell Scott, the first black stock car racing driver to win an upper tier NASCAR race.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Peewee
...
Sheriff Cotton
Richie Havens ...
Woodrow
Julian Bond ...
Russell
...
Beau Welles
Minnie Gentry ...
Wendell's Mother
Lucy Saroyan ...
Hutch's Wife
...
Billy Joe Byrnes
Bruce Atkins ...
Deputy Turner
Steve Fifield ...
Deputy Drinkwater
...
Mr. Jones
Georgia Allen ...
Mrs. Jones
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Storyline

This is the true story of Wendell Scott, America's first African American NASCAR driver, once he returns from WWII to find his hometown the way he left it. With seed money for a taxicab business, he learns all the county roads. With his new knowledge an opportunity presents itself with some steep consequences. After an invitation to the local race track, a race car driver is born. The ethnic boundaries are a part of everyday life in 1950's Amercan life. You become part of his fight for equality, fairness and the American dream.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Richard Pryor Drives 'Em Wild


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blyskawicznie  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Any wreck on any NASCAR track that involves between three and five cars or more. Are called "the big one". Daytona and Talladega are the origins of the phrase "the big one". Being super speedways with high banking. And where speeds reach 210 mph. Wrecks tend to collect many cars. And the banking tends to bring them all down to one place making it worse. But with the speeds involved many tracks can have wrecks that can be called the big one. See more »

Goofs

In many of the in-car shots during the races you can hear that they are manual transmissions being double clutched, but the drivers never take their hands of the wheel to shift. See more »

Quotes

[searching for car parts in a scrap yard]
Peewee: What'chyou looking for, Wendell?
Wendell Scott: Some of this, some of that, some of everything. A universal joint.
Peewee: Hmph. I wouldn't know a universal joint if it bit me.
Wendell Scott: Well, one's about to bite you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Intimate Portrait: Pam Grier (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Maybe Tomorrow
Written by Fred Karlin & Bradford Craig
Performed by Roberta Flack
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable, engrossing film
16 February 2005 | by (KCMO) – See all my reviews

Richard Pryor shows his versatility, in this story of a black moonshine runner who forces his way into the white-dominated professional racing circuit. I'm not sure how historically accurate it is, but the film drew me into the story, right off the bat. When they establish Pryor's character as a WWII veteran, that automatically buys some sympathy, and it's not hard to guess how hard it would have been for a black man to make his mark in the white-dominated south, let alone the white-ultra-dominated auto racing field. This particular aspect of racing, I think, still shows today in the incredibly-low percentage of black drivers in the major leagues of auto racing. I know it's not because African-Americans can't build or drive cars - I believe it's still because of the redneck image of pro stock-car racing.

Anyway, off my soapbox. This is a great movie. Pryor is very believable and turns in a fine performance as the protagonist. It's also great to see how the small local drivers started to build up the sport into the massive, ugly organization that is is, today. The film also kept my interest by showing the NASCAR races, year after year, showing their evolution and devolution.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, front to back - of course, I'm kind of tilted towards car films. But the way the actors played out their characters in this film made them very human. I recommend this to any open-minded NASCAR fan. This'll show you where it came from.


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