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Days of Thunder (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Sport  |  27 June 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 57,275 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 95 user | 58 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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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


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


You can't stop the thunder. See more »


Action | Drama | Sport


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 June 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días de trueno  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)


$82,670,733 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Cole says "the accelerator is stuck" and other things without moving his lips. See more »


Harry Hogge: [discussing Cole's fearfulness after his big crash by intentionally destroying his engine during a race] You done it deliberate... done it deliberate! Nine thousand, four hundred RPM... according to the little tell-tale button.
See more »


Referenced in What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012) See more »


Bye, Bye, Love
Written by Boudleaux Bryant and Felice Bryant
See more »

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User Reviews

The Need For More Speed
6 January 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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