5.7/10
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19 user 2 critic

The Big Wheel (1949)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 4 November 1949 (USA)
A brash young midget car race driver lives in the shadow of his famous father, a drunken womanizer, who was killed in an accident years earlier.

Director:

Edward Ludwig

Writer:

Robert Smith (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rooney ... Billy Coy
Thomas Mitchell ... Red Stanley
Michael O'Shea ... Vic Sullivan
Mary Hatcher ... Lou Riley
Spring Byington ... Mary Coy
Steve Brodie ... Happy Lee
Lina Romay ... Dolores Raymond
Hattie McDaniel ... Minnie (as Hattie McDaniels)
Allen Jenkins ... George
Monte Blue ... Deacon Jones
Richard Lane ... Reno Riley (as Dick Lane)
Eddie Kane Eddie Kane ... Head Waiter
Charles Irwin Charles Irwin ... Drunk
Kippee Valez Kippee Valez ... Carla
Denver Pyle ... Doctor
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Storyline

Billy Coy comes to Carrell. His late father's mechanic Red hires Billy as a mechanic. Soon, Billy gets a job as a driver. Written by Daniel Ljungberg <meen@df.lth.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Roaring at you with mile-a-minute thrills! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thundering Wheels See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 33rd running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1949, Wilbur Shaw, the President of the Speedway, actually did drive the pace car, as the movie announcer had noted. See more »

Goofs

When Billy chases Happy Lee to tell him that his wheel is coming loose, Happy's car dies and Billy crashes into him. Both men are driving midgets, but the cutaway to stock footage of the wreck shows a roadster rolling over in flames. See more »

Quotes

Billy Coy: [Entering nightclub] Have you got a table for me, please?
Head Waiter: What is your name?
Billy Coy: Alexander Hamilton.
Head Waiter: [Looking at his reservation list] I'm sorry, I have no Hamilton here.
Billy Coy: [Offering a $10 bill] Well, I have a Hamilton HERE.
Head Waiter: Well, Mr. Hamilton, I have your table right at ringside. Right this way please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the following written acknowledgements: "Grateful acknowledgement for their invaluable assistance is made to the AAA, the URA, the Racing Drivers of America, the Indianapolis Speedway and Mr. Wilbur Shaw." See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Pickers: What Happens in Sturgis... (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Que Bueno
Written by Kermit Goell and Fred Spielman
Sung by Lina Romay at nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like father, like son
1 January 2003 | by jebenSee all my reviews

Not a bad film... the three central characters are played by talented, convincing actors. The plot focus is on Mickey Rooney's character Bill Coy who follows in his father's footsteps for good and for bad. No other characters are developed- all the emotion and story energy is on the cocky, proud star racer/mechanic who does some mellowing under life's hard knocks... the final indy race is an exciting high-point in the action. This picture recently became available on DVD in a MADACY Mickey Rooney Triple Feature Movie Marathon series...


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