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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 overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Cotton
Richie Havens ...
Julian Bond ...
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


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


Richard Pryor Drives 'Em Wild


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

July 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blyskawicznie  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


[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 »


Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »


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

Pleasant and informative
1 August 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I had never heard of Wendell Scott before I saw this film. This isn't surprising considering I am not a NASCAR fan nor was Scott all that successful a race car driver. But, he was the first black driver-- and he began racing in an era of extreme overt racism, and for that reason the film clearly deserved to be made...though it does seem to paint a false image of the man when it came to winning races. He was good but he just didn't win very often.

The casting in this movie is odd. After all, Richard Pryor plays Scott and this isn't a comedy. And, Pam Grier plays Scott's wife-- and this isn't an action or exploitation film. But regardless, the acting is fine, the story reasonably interesting and it's a nice little homage to the Jackie Robinson of NASCAR. Worth seeing but not the best or most exciting black American film of the era.

By the way, since the film was made in the 1970s and is about (mostly) the 1950s, you'll hear a ton of politically incorrect language. I appreciate that, as racism is ugly and I don't want to see it sanitized in the least!

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