Two young men in a fast car travel through Georgia in the summer of 1958 en route to enter the National Championship drag races in California. In Macon County they pick up a wild girl who brings trouble and attract the ire of a local cop.
Based on D.H. Lawrence's novella about two young women - sickly, chattering Jill Banford and quiet, strong Ellen March - who are trying, hopelessly, to run a chicken farm in Canada. A ... See full summary »
Two small-town young men, drag racer Bo and mechanic Harley, embark on a road trip from Georgia to California with the intention of entering the Grand National Championship drag races in California. But it's not long before the innocent-minded friends realize this journey will bring them more than they bargained for. Trouble greets them in the form of a runaway waitress who insists on traveling with them, a group of high school boys who don't like losing a street race, and a police sergeant who is determined to throw them in jail.
I initially rented this movie, because I confused it with Macon County Line (which I have never seen but heard was good). So I came into this movie without any prior knowledge to plotlines or previous recommendations or criticisms. I was pleasantly surprised. I have just finished watching it about ten minutes ago. Although the audience is supposed to be oooohed and aaaaahed by the car chases, I was mostly impressed with the relational dynamics between the three leads. The movie takes two long-time buddies and throws a crazy girl into the mix.
Characters: Bo (Nick Nolte)-Bo is a bit hot-tempered and obviously not the brains of the group. He is the "driver" of the movie's centerpiece, a flashy yellow Chevy. He is loyal, almost to a fault and determined.
Harley (Don Johnson)-Harley seems to be the brainier of the two. He does tend to look out for Bo a bit. He's the "mechanic" of the car.
Janelle (Robin Mattson)-Janelle was a waitress, who suddenly latches onto the two boys, romantically with Bo. She's quite crazy and will do anything.
Plot: Harley has finally put his greatest touch to the yellow Chevy, Bo's and Harley's pride and joy. They are on their way to California to enter the National race, having fun and flings on the side. Along the way, Janelle jumps onto the bandwagon, despite Harley's misgivings. She begins to form a bond with Bo, while Harley is out testing the car. During the test drive, Harley gets into a drag race and wins. The loser claims that Harley cheated, and so the two get into a fight over the $100. In a major sub-plot, the gang gets into trouble with Sergeant Whittaker, who becomes obsessed with their capture.
As I said earlier, I greatly admired how the relationship worked between Harley, Bo, and Janelle. The plot was almost used solely to create the dynamic. Bo feels he must choose between racing (and hence Harley) and Janelle. Harley quietly resents Janelle and rationalizes her craziness is dangerous. Janelle feels the intruder, yet is still a member of their little bunch.
I will point out that this movie is good, but not great. It's good for a one-time viewing.
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