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:

The RACE of his LIFE could be his ROAD to RUIN! 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 this film Wilbur Shaw, as president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was well-qualified to drive the pace car in the actual 1949 race used in this film. Prior to managing IMS he was the 2nd three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 & only back-to-back winner ('39, '40). His book "Gentlemen Start Your Engines" is considered the primer for the Golden Age of auto racing in the United States. See more »

Goofs

During qualifying in Billy Coy's first race in the hot rod, there is a substance (sand or oil dry) on the track surface, in turn one, during his warm-up lap, and during his first green flag lap. During the next 2 laps, turn one no long has the substance on it, but after Billy receives the checkered flag, the substance is back on the track, and tire tracks can be seen going through the substance. See more »

Quotes

Red Stanley: [When Billy applies for a job] Sorry about the job, kid. I need another mechanic like I need a hole in my gas tank.
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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