As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.
A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big give-away in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall characters are (very) loosely based on former driver Tim Richmond and his crew chief Harry Hyde. Richmond was known as an overnight sensation, and Hyde was the veteran crew chief. The scene where Duvall's character teaches Cruise about tire management is based on an actual incident between Hyde and Richmond, who died of AIDS complications the year before the film was released. See more »
In the opening Daytona 500, just after the green flag drops, you can see Cole's City Cheverolet on the right hand side of the screen, even though it does not exist yet. See more »
If I had to guess the genesis for Days of Thunder had its place in two areas. First the fact that Top Gun proved to be such a mega-hit for Tom Cruise that a similar film was almost dictated to be made by Paramount. But secondly it was reported that on the set of The Color of Money, co-star Paul Newman got Cruise interested in auto racing so you put those two things together, Days of Thunder was almost a film that had to be made.
The film certainly has the feel of NASCAR to it and it takes its place along side such racing classics as Grand Prix, The Racers and Paul Newman's own film, Winning. The story is the teaming of young rookie sensation Cruise and top mechanic Robert Duvall.
Tom's character is a whole lot like the young fighter pilot in Top Gun, a kid with a world of confidence and the ability to make his brag become fact. He's a driver by instinct not knowing a whole lot about the mechanics of a racing car. That's the way he and Duvall complement each other although it's not an easy relationship.
Days of Thunder is also the film on which Tom met Mrs. Cruise number two, Nicole Kidman. She's a neurologist who gets to treat Tom after a crash and also drops the hammer on Cruise's rival Michael Rooker and his career after a serious head injury.
There are also some nice performances by Randy Quaid as the stock car owner and Cary Elwes as another of Cruise's rival drivers.
Fred Dalton Thompson, District Attorney of New York County on Law and Order, former United States Senator, and would be President of the United States is in the cast as the head of NASCAR. If the political thing doesn't work out for Fred, he certainly has the presence and authority to be a baseball commissioner. They'll certainly need another Judge Landis in that job to restore some integrity to that sport.
Days of Thunder got an Academy Award nomination for Sound Recording and it's a good followup film for Top Gun.
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