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Madison, Indiana, 1971. The Ohio river port is in full economic decline, its last pride and obsession being its uniquely town-owned power boat, although the raggedy old donation from a millionaire decades ago never comes close to a win. With his doted upon son Mike as most devoted fan, air-conditioner repairman Jim McCormick, who had to stop piloting it after a near-fatal accident, devotes all his 'spare' time to it, turning down professional opportunities as that would mean moving, as his wife suggests. Things climax when he realizes the town will either be scrapped from the national racing circuit or host the Gold Cup itself, requiring $50,000 fund raising. Written by
The boat depicted as the Miss Budweiser, actually raced under the Budweiser name in 1980. The Budweiser hydroplane at the time flipped and was severely damaged while trying to qualify in the Seattle Seafair race. Chuck Hickling, who was the builder and owner of the boat then known as the Tempus, agreed to race the boat under the Budweiser name and number, U-12, to finish the season and win the National High Point Championship. See more »
During the opening shot of Miss Madison making a test run, the driver has a white helmet and in other shots of the same run, the driver has an orange helmet. See more »
Adult Mike McCormick:
Why is it that everything important that happens to you when you're a kid, happens during the summer? In the summer of 1971 I was ten years old, and the only thing I looked forward to more than the last day of school, was the first day of practice of the hydroplane racing season. You could say Madison kids were born into racing, the same way some folks were born into the oil business or farming.
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Well, it's better than the Mothman movie anyway...
I was waiting to see this movie since I heard about it, in Madison. I was a bit disappointed at how hokey it is, but at lease I can enjoy the scenery. You sure get to know the 421 bridge *G* and I loved seeing those riverfront scenes because I've been there many times.
I am in Madison on the first week of April most years, for a hot pepper festival at the Thomas Family Winery. I love these old Ohio River towns.
In the lodge at Clifty Falls State Park (on the west edge of town), they have another Miss Madison on display, a much smaller boat, I think from the 1940s or 1950s, with a Crosley engine.
Oh, one other thing - when the father and son go into the cavern, that's an unfinished railroad tunnel in the Clifty park, you can walk through it. Bring a lantern, you'll look funny walking the trail with it in the daytime, but it will be handy in the tunnel...
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