6.8/10
1,131
17 user 3 critic

Heart Like a Wheel (1983)

Shirley Muldowney is determined to be a top-fuel drag racer, although no woman has ever raced them before. Despite the high risks of this kind of racing and the burden it places on her ... See full summary »

Director:

Jonathan Kaplan

Writers:

Ken Friedman, Joan McCall (original script by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bonnie Bedelia ... Shirley Muldowney
Beau Bridges ... Connie Kalitta
Bruce Barlow Bruce Barlow ... Bass Player, Tex's Band
Leo Rossi ... Jack Muldowney
Anthony Edwards ... John Muldowney (age 15-23)
Hoyt Axton ... Tex Roque
Paul Bartel ... Chef Paul
Missy Basile Missy Basile ... Angela
Creed Bratton ... Photographer
Jesse Aragon Jesse Aragon ... Carlos
Tiffany Brissette ... Little Shirley
Paul Bryar ... Matt, Card Player
James Burton ... Guitar Player, Tex's Band
Martin Casella Martin Casella ... Repoter #1
Michael Cavanaugh ... NHRA Boss
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Storyline

Shirley Muldowney is determined to be a top-fuel drag racer, although no woman has ever raced them before. Despite the high risks of this kind of racing and the burden it places on her family life, she perseveres in her dream. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She did something, women were forbidden to do and, become a World Champion.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Beauty See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$272,278
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sound clips from the movie was used on the song "Shirley" by L7 on their CD "HUNGRY FOR STINK" from 1994. See more »

Goofs

In the pits, standing by her dragster, Shirley's cigarette changes sizes during shots. See more »

Quotes

Repoter #1: What's a beautiful girl like you doing at a racetrack like this?
Shirley Muldowney: Winning.
See more »


Soundtracks

Free Flight
Music by Michael Lloyd
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User Reviews

 
Shirley's Soapy-But-Startling Story
15 March 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This a pretty interesting based-on-a-true life-story of hot-rod racer Shirley Muldowney. Bonnie Bedalia plays the woman who was a pioneer of her sorts, becoming the first female star in the sport. Whether her life was one big soap opera, I don't know, but the movie concentrates on that sort of thing....with a feminist bias, of course.

I didn't mid the latter because she had to fight a lot of obstacles to become the first female star of drag racing. However, the constant arguments with her husband (a very profane Leo Rossi) and then with crew chief-former lover Connie Kallitta (Beau Bridges) wore thin after awhile. This was just before the PG-13 rating was put into effect, so it's rated PG which is ludicrous with all the profanity.

One very, very memorable scene in here: Muldowney on fire, stumbling down the racetrack after her car caught on fire. That was horrifying and a scene I've never forgotten, and I first saw this almost 20 years ago. Other that that, it's a so-so story and better than so-so if you don't let the language bother you.


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