6.8/10
1,196
17 user 4 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 ... 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$272,278
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of a late 1970s early 1980s mini-cycle of films centering around women athletes. The movies include Blue Skies Again (1983) (baseball), Goldengirl (1979) (athletics), The Miracle of Kathy Miller (1981) (athletics), Hockey Night (1984) (ice hockey), Quarterback Princess (1983) (gridiron), Personal Best (1982) (pentathlon), Gregory's Girl (1980) (soccer) and Heart Like a Wheel (1983) (drag racing). See more »

Goofs

When Shirley shows up at the race track with her first dragster, Jack Muldowney says he's going to work on the "carb". The engine has Hilborn injectors, not carburetors. See more »

Quotes

[after being slapped, by Shirley]
Connie Kalitta: Cha Cha Cha
See more »


Soundtracks

Born to Win
Music & Lyrics by Tom Snow
Performed by Jill Michaels
Scotti Brothers Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's not about the cars, it's about the woman
28 July 2010 | by sprattonSee all my reviews

A gem. Pretty much ignored when it came out, because the industry tried to push it as a "hot rod movie" which it is not. Bonnie Bedelia gives a brilliant performance (apparently race folks who knew Muldowney believed she appeared as herself in a couple of scenes!). Film and TV seldom succeed in portraying auto racing; but that doesn't matter here because it doesn't pretend to. The movie has the same spirit as BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM; a young woman facing down family and society in order to fight and win in her chosen field. At the end, you will want to pump your fist and cheer, the way I saw a cinema audience do for the recent Beckham piece. Also, some quite heart-piercing moments when Muldowney's ambition and drive and hard shell fall apart from love and betrayal. Beau Bridges loves his role as a boozy cynical scoundrel, and what fun singer Hoyt Axton must have had doing his thing. 1960 out on the Depot Road near Schenectady --- that's what it was like!


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