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Greased Lightning (1977)

The true life story of Wendell Scott, the first black stock car racing driver to win an upper tier NASCAR race.

Director:

Michael Schultz

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Pryor ... Wendell Scott
Beau Bridges ... Hutch
Pam Grier ... Mary
Cleavon Little ... Peewee
Vincent Gardenia ... Sheriff Cotton
Richie Havens ... Woodrow
Julian Bond ... Russell
Earl Hindman ... Beau Welles
Minnie Gentry Minnie Gentry ... Wendell's Mother
Lucy Saroyan Lucy Saroyan ... Hutch's Wife
Noble Willingham ... Billy Joe Byrnes
Bruce Atkins Bruce Atkins ... Deputy Turner
Steve Fifield Steve Fifield ... Deputy Drinkwater
Bill Cobbs ... Mr. Jones
Georgia Allen Georgia Allen ... Mrs. Jones
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Storyline

This is the true story of Wendell Scott, America's first African American NASCAR driver, once he returns from WWII to find his hometown the way he left it. With seed money for a taxicab business, he learns all the county roads. With his new knowledge an opportunity presents itself with some steep consequences. After an invitation to the local race track, a race car driver is born. The ethnic boundaries are a part of everyday life in 1950's Amercan life. You become part of his fight for equality, fairness and the American dream.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He drove 'em wild! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blyskawicznie See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Any wreck on any NASCAR track, that involves between three and five cars or more, are called "the big one". Daytona and Talladega are the origins of the phrase "the big one". Being super speedways with high banking, and where speeds reach two hundred ten miles per hour. Wrecks tend to collect many cars, and the banking tends to bring them all down to one place, making it worse. But with the speeds involved, many tracks can have wrecks that can be called "the big one". See more »

Goofs

In many of the in-car shots during the races you can hear that they are manual transmissions being double clutched, but the drivers never take their hands of the wheel to shift. See more »

Quotes

Hutch: [sarcastically ] If they shoved your brain up a gnat's ass, it would look like a BB in a boxcar.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks' Wild, Wild West (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

All Come True
Written by Fred Karlin & Norman Gimbel
Performed by Richie Havens
See more »

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User Reviews

 
compelling history
26 September 2018 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Wendell Scott (Richard Pryor) returns home from WWII. He marries Mary Jones (Pam Grier) and starts a taxi service. Eager for action, he joins Peewee (Cleavon Little) on moonshine runs with the excuse of needing money to buy a garage. They outwit and outpace the bumbling police under Sheriff Cotton (Vincent Gardenia). When he finally gets caught, the local race track owner forces him to race to get out of jail. He becomes popular with the black crowds as the first black racer. Hutch (Beau Bridges) is first a rival driver, then a friendly competitor, and finally his mechanic in NASCAR.

This is a biopic loosely based on his life. I remember something about the race he won but was denied at first. Otherwise, I have nothing to say about the accuracy. There are characters that feel a little stereotypical. Bridges is trying too hard. I like Pryor's performance for the most part but he can never be not Pryor. The racing action is fine but it's not the most thrilling. This is compelling history and it has a great actor stretching his skills.


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