Heart Like a Wheel (1983)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Sport  |  1 April 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 988 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

Shirley Muldowney is determined to be a top-fuel drag racer, although no woman has ever raced them before. Despite the high risks of this kind of racing and the burden it places on her ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Barlow ...
Bass Player, Tex's Band
Jack Muldowney
John Muldowney (age 15-23)
Tex Roque
Chef Paul
Missy Basile ...
Jesse Aragon ...
Little Shirley
Paul Bryar ...
Matt, Card Player
Guitar Player, Tex's Band
Martin Casella ...
Repoter #1


Shirley Muldowney is determined to be a top-fuel drag racer, although no woman has ever raced them before. Despite the high risks of this kind of racing and the burden it places on her family life, she perseveres in her dream. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

racing | race car | top fuel | 1960s | love | See All (40) »


She did something, women were forbidden to do and, become a World Champion.


Biography | Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 April 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corazón sobre ruedas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sound clips from the movie was used on the song "Shirley" by L7 on their CD "HUNGRY FOR STINK" from 1994. See more »


Shirley and Jack are seen in a 1956 scene with "I Only Have Eyes For You" playing in the background, but the version by The Flamingos that is played wasn't released until 1959. See more »


Connie Kalitta: UNBECOMING, MY ASS!
[after storming out, of the press room while the NHRA, revoked his racing license]
Shirley Muldowney: How long?
Connie Kalitta: Indefinite suspension.
See more »


I Only Have Eyes for You
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by The Flamingos
See more »

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User Reviews

It's not about the cars, it's about the woman
28 July 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

A gem. Pretty much ignored when it came out, because the industry tried to push it as a "hot rod movie" which it is not. Bonnie Bedelia gives a brilliant performance (apparently race folks who knew Muldowney believed she appeared as herself in a couple of scenes!). Film and TV seldom succeed in portraying auto racing; but that doesn't matter here because it doesn't pretend to. The movie has the same spirit as BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM; a young woman facing down family and society in order to fight and win in her chosen field. At the end, you will want to pump your fist and cheer, the way I saw a cinema audience do for the recent Beckham piece. Also, some quite heart-piercing moments when Muldowney's ambition and drive and hard shell fall apart from love and betrayal. Beau Bridges loves his role as a boozy cynical scoundrel, and what fun singer Hoyt Axton must have had doing his thing. 1960 out on the Depot Road near Schenectady --- that's what it was like!

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