6.8/10
1,265
17 user 5 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)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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 ... Reporter #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:

Before you can be a winner, you have to put your heart on the line. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Charles Haid was originally cast as Connie Kalitta and filmed for several days before being fired for being difficult. He was replaced by Beau Bridges. See more »

Goofs

At the first race they attend with her dragster, Jack Muldowney tells his son to help him work on the carburetor. The car is an A fuel dragster and is injected and has no carburetor. The injectors are clearly visible in this scene. See more »

Quotes

Shirley Muldowney: It wasn't his fault. It was the blower. It blew up like a bomb.
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Connections

Featured in Shirley Muldowney: Behind the Wheel (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Free Flight
Music by Michael Lloyd
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User Reviews

Moving story about an unusual woman
16 October 2002 | by trpdeanSee all my reviews

This is one of those rare performances in which you fall in love with the actress. Bonnie Bedelia was apparently nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress for her performance as Shirley Muldowney - she should have won an Oscar.

Whether or not you care anything about drag racing - I don't - this is just as much a movie about an unusual, sweet but driven, woman through two decades. It's really tops.

The only criticism I have is that the movie lets the character off rather lightly for abandoning her husband and child after a fight over whether she should be gone from home throughout the year. The truth is that it must be terribly difficult for someone not in the industry to keep a marriage going - including parenthood of a 12 year old - with someone who wants to be gone throughout the year and throughout the country. At one point, Beau Bridges accuses her of abandoning her husband due to ambition - and I suspect there may be more in the accusation than the movie allows the viewer to believe (since Beau Bridges at that point is behaving pretty awfully).

Still, Bonnie Bedelia is so charming, sweet, pretty, winning in every way - that the viewer does nothing but cheer her success.

This is very enjoyable.


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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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$272,278
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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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