6.2/10
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14 user 1 critic

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scott's only major Grand National win came on December 1, 1963 at the Jacksonville (Florida) Speedway Park. This is the race in which he was initially denied the trophy. Over his career he had 147 top ten finishes with 20 being top five coming from 495 starts. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015. 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

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

Soundtracks

Maybe Tomorrow
Written by Fred Karlin & Bradford Craig
Performed by Roberta Flack
See more »

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User Reviews

Somewhat uneven but fairly entertaining biopic
17 August 2015 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

I knew nothing about the real life race car driver Wendell Scott before watching this film, so I was really interested to see what this movie would teach me about him. After watching it, I have to say the movie is very uneven. On the positive side, the movie does give the audience a good taste of the various struggles Scott must have gone through with his ambition to be the first black race car driver - we see racism both casual and more intense. As Scott, Richard Pryor does at first seem a little uneasy in a role that's more serious and less comic than usual, but he eventually finds his groove and for the rest of the movie delivers a pretty good performance, from showing joy to showing frustration.

On the other hand, the movie sometimes seems aimed at a more yahoo crowd than one that would more appreciate a dead serious examination of the legend, such as the treatment of Scott's time in the moonshine trade (plenty of yuk yuk comedy and car chases.) The screenplay also awkwardly and suddenly jumps ahead in time a number of years a few times, which leads to some unanswered questions. Supporting characters, such as those played by Pam Grier and Beau Bridges, don't get that much to do.

Despite flaws such as those, the movie is worth a look. While uneven, it's never a slog to sit through. And though you can tell Scott's real story was in many ways a lot different than what this movie claims, as I said it does give you a good taste of some of what Scott went through.


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