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Days of Thunder (1990)

 -  Action | Drama | Romance  -  27 June 1990 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 47,824 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 88 user | 53 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

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(story), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Days of Thunder (1990)

Days of Thunder (1990) on IMDb 5.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Russ Wheeler
...
...
Big John
...
Buck Bretherton
J.C. Quinn ...
Waddell
...
...
Jennie Burns
...
Darlene (as Donna Wilson)
...
Harlem Hoogerhyde
...
Cole's Crew
Stephen Michael Ayers ...
Crewmember
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Storyline

Cole Trickle enters the high-pressure world of Nascar racing. He's a hot driver with a hot temper, and this attitude gets him into trouble not only with other drivers, but members of his own team as well. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't outrun the thunder. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 June 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Days of Thunder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$82,670,733 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(analog 70 mm prints)| (digital 35 mm and 70 mm prints)| (analog 35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The man who drove for Harry Hogge before Cole Trickle was called Buddy Bretherton. In the movie they mention he died hitting the wall at Daytona. Harry also mentions that Buddy heard voices while driving. Buddy Bretherton is probably based on the Nascar driver Bobby Isaac. Who drove for crew chief Harry Hyde. Issac claimed to have heard voices telling him to get out of the race car or he would die. So he pulled the car off the track and quit. Isaac died years later from a heart attack while driving in a 1977 Late Model Sportsman race at Hickory Motor Speedway with 25 laps left. See more »

Goofs

At the Dover, Delaware race, Cole enters pit road when another car pulls out in front of him. Cole has to slam on his brakes and then looses control. He is then seen wearing a white with red and blue trim fire suit as he says, "Oh, this gonna hurt." When he strikes the wall, it shows him in a fire suit with his team colors (green and black). See more »

Quotes

Tim Daland: [Talking to the team after a poor showing at Rockingham but asks Cole and Harry to stay] I had sponsors in the stands, we were hugging and holding hands, praying for good showing and what do we do? We end up looking like a monkey fucking a football out there. Everybody out, please, except you two.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Wild Rebels (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

HEARTS IN TROUBLE
Written by Bill Champlin, Dennis Matrosky and Kevin Dukes
Performed by Chicago
Produced by Bill Champlin and Bennis Matrosky
Chicago courtesy of Reprise Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Painting by numbers produces an average film despite the cast
23 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Eager for a winning formula, team owner Tim Daland puts together the inexperienced but naturally talented Cole Trickle and the retired but skilled mechanic Harry Hogge to hopefully bounce off each other to create a winning combination. After the expected bumps and friction between the two, they seem to blend well and start winning races. However, a major accident between Cole and his main rival, Rowdy Burns, puts them both in the hospital under the care of the professional and leggy Dr Lewicki. But will Cole be able to overcome the physical and mental scars that he got.

The comedian Rich Hall did a great routine once where he summed up the films of Tom Cruise by basically saying that each of them involves him being great at his job (pilot, bartender, driver) before suffering a crisis of confidence but meeting a beautiful lady who helps him over it in time to come good – hilarious in the telling because he was right and, true to form, Days of Thunder sets its stall out in the same way. That the plot is formulaic (father/son stuff, macho posturing, love interest, final big race etc) and it is a bit tiring at times because it is nothing new and it produces large sags during the film. The father/son stuff is OK if hackneyed but the romance is so sudden and fake that it left me cool and never engaged once. The racing stuff is fun, noisy and fast which I suppose is what most of its audience want; but this is still not a great action movie but kudos to Scott for managing to make a load of cars going round a circular track appear exciting.

The cast is more impressive on paper than they are in reality. Cruise plays his usual character and does it with no real charm or ability. He is trading off his fame here and his macho nonsense is rather tiresome. Kidman may have been Cruise's offscreen partner but viewers of this film will have seen their divorce coming because they have zero chemistry and she is poor throughout. It's not all her fault though, the script gives her nothing to work with. Thank god then, for Robert Duvall; he may be playing a fairly clichéd character but he does it well and steals every scene from his pretty but empty co-star. Support is good from Quaid and Rooker but Ewles is given too little time to make anything but a negative impression and Reilly had yet to prove his versatility and doesn't do it here.

Overall this is very much painting by the numbers in many regards. The plot is easy and lacks any sort of spark or innovation meaning that, when the cars are off the screen, it is easy for the film to get dull. The action scenes are OK but, as with F1, I find many motor sports to be dull and didn't get drawn into the predictable races as much as I wanted to. The script gives the cast nothing to really work with, and only Duvall comes out with any real dignity even if he has a cliché as opposed to a real person to play. This has all the failings you would expect and the end result of so little imagination is an average film that is watchable but no more than that.


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