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Days of Thunder (1990)

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A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

Director:

Tony Scott

Writers:

Robert Towne (story), Tom Cruise (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,658 ( 343)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... Cole Trickle
Nicole Kidman ... Dr. Claire Lewicki
Robert Duvall ... Harry Hogge
Randy Quaid ... Tim Daland
Cary Elwes ... Russ Wheeler
Michael Rooker ... Rowdy Burns
Fred Dalton Thompson ... Big John
John C. Reilly ... Buck Bretherton
J.C. Quinn ... Waddell
Don Simpson ... Aldo Bennedetti
Caroline Williams ... Jennie Burns
Donna W. Scott ... Darlene (as Donna Wilson)
Chris Ellis ... Harlem Hoogerhyde
Peter Appel ... Cole's Crew
Stephen Michael Ayers ... Cole's Crew
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Storyline

Cole Trickle enters the high-pressure world of Nascar racing. He's a hot driver with a hot temper, and this attitude gets him into trouble not only with other drivers, but members of his own team as well. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

driver | car | team | nascar | rookie | See All (115) »

Taglines:

Cruise like Thunder. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

27 June 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Días de trueno See more »

Filming Locations:

Bristol, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$82,670,733

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$165,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (analog 70 mm prints)| CDS (digital 35 mm and 70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (analog 35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Towne compared the challenge of the film's racing sequences to how Ben-Hur (1959) made the chariot races exciting and suspenseful even when it was clear that Judah Ben Hur would win them, and said that ultimately this movie failed, because they weren't able to overcome the predictability of Trickle being victorious at the end. See more »

Goofs

In the scene after Cole Trickle recovers from the spin out at the firecracker 400 and catching up to Rowdy Burns, he passes a #18 orange Hardees car, now Russ Wheeler and the Hardees car are not yet introduced until later in the film. See more »

Quotes

Rowdy Burns: [after arriving at the hospital after the accident at Daytona] Go screw yourself.
Dr. Claire Lewicki: What was that Mr. Burns?
Rowdy Burns: I wouldn't tell you to do that, doc.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

You Gotta Love Someone
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Performed by Elton John
Produced by Don Was
Elton John courtesy of MCA Records and Phonogram U.K. Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Need For More Speed
6 January 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

If I had to guess the genesis for Days of Thunder had its place in two areas. First the fact that Top Gun proved to be such a mega-hit for Tom Cruise that a similar film was almost dictated to be made by Paramount. But secondly it was reported that on the set of The Color of Money, co-star Paul Newman got Cruise interested in auto racing so you put those two things together, Days of Thunder was almost a film that had to be made.

The film certainly has the feel of NASCAR to it and it takes its place along side such racing classics as Grand Prix, The Racers and Paul Newman's own film, Winning. The story is the teaming of young rookie sensation Cruise and top mechanic Robert Duvall.

Tom's character is a whole lot like the young fighter pilot in Top Gun, a kid with a world of confidence and the ability to make his brag become fact. He's a driver by instinct not knowing a whole lot about the mechanics of a racing car. That's the way he and Duvall complement each other although it's not an easy relationship.

Days of Thunder is also the film on which Tom met Mrs. Cruise number two, Nicole Kidman. She's a neurologist who gets to treat Tom after a crash and also drops the hammer on Cruise's rival Michael Rooker and his career after a serious head injury.

There are also some nice performances by Randy Quaid as the stock car owner and Cary Elwes as another of Cruise's rival drivers.

Fred Dalton Thompson, District Attorney of New York County on Law and Order, former United States Senator, and would be President of the United States is in the cast as the head of NASCAR. If the political thing doesn't work out for Fred, he certainly has the presence and authority to be a baseball commissioner. They'll certainly need another Judge Landis in that job to restore some integrity to that sport.

Days of Thunder got an Academy Award nomination for Sound Recording and it's a good followup film for Top Gun.


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