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Race the Sun (1996)

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A bunch of high school misfits in Hawaii, introduced by their new teacher, attend a science fair in which they draw up inspiration to build their own solar car and win a trip to compete in the 1990 World Solar Challenge in Australia.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Machi (as James Belushi)
Daniel Webster
Cindy Johnson
Jack Fryman
Eduardo Braz
Gilbert Tutu
Marco Quito
Sara Tanaka ...
Uni Kakamura
Oni Nagano
Adriane Napualani Uganiza ...
Luana Kanahele
Hans Kooiman
Robert Hughes ...
Judd Potter
Ed Webster


Idealistic Sandra Beecher has just started working as a Science teacher at Kona-Pali High School in Hawaii, being hired for this job despite her teaching background being English. Her reason for taking the job is largely to run away from the mainland and a failed marriage. She finds that her students are an unmotivated lot, largely because there are low societal expectations of them, including from their parents and the school faculty. As such, she directs a handful of her most unmotivated students to attend a regional science fair at which there are no Kona-Pali displays to come up with their own science fair projects. An incident at the fair does spur one of her students, Daniel Webster, self-professed as not being good at most things but believing he is a good designer, to announce, with the support of his fellow students, that they want to build a solar powered car of his design as their project, and to enter that car in the upcoming Inter-island Race. American Corporate giant, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A dream can make all the difference under the sun.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and a brief incident of teen drinking | See all certifications »




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Release Date:

22 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La compétition  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(8 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the science fair, Marco calls the students from the competing team mahu(s) which is the Hawaiian word for homosexuals. See more »


When introducing herself to the students, Ms. Beecher prints her name on the blackboard. It repeatedly changes between printed and cursive throughout the scene. See more »


Send Me On My Way
Written by Michael Glabicki, Liz Berlin, John Buynak, Jim DiSpirito (as James Dispirito),
Jim Donovan (as James Donovan), Patrick Norman & Jenn Wertz
Performed by Rusted Root
Courtesy of Mercury Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Another chance to see Halle Berry
14 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OK, not the greatest movie in the world, and the outcome is fairly predictable, but it was another opportunity to see Halle Berry, and I cannot pass that up. Besides that, I am trying to get my teaching certificate, so I watch teacher movies, no matter how silly.

I understand that it is also based upon a true story.

In addition, it also featured Eliza Dushku (Buffy, Tru Calling), Casey Affleck (brother of Ben), and James Belushi.

It wasn't memorable, but it was cute and not a total waste of time. Also, it was written by Barry Morrow, a member of the Association of Retarded Citizens, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Austism Society of America - a lifelong advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. That puts him solidly in my camp as I am also a member of NASW and work with the developmentally disabled. Morrow won an Oscar for writing Rain Man.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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