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 ...
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Phil Alden Robinson
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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
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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