5.7/10
417
20 user 2 critic

The Big Wheel (1949)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 4 November 1949 (USA)
A brash young midget car race driver lives in the shadow of his famous father, a drunken womanizer, who was killed in an accident years earlier.

Director:

Edward Ludwig

Writer:

Robert Smith (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rooney ... Billy Coy
Thomas Mitchell ... Red Stanley
Michael O'Shea ... Vic Sullivan
Mary Hatcher ... Lou Riley
Spring Byington ... Mary Coy
Steve Brodie ... Happy Lee
Lina Romay ... Dolores Raymond
Hattie McDaniel ... Minnie (as Hattie McDaniels)
Allen Jenkins ... George
Monte Blue ... Deacon Jones
Richard Lane ... Reno Riley (as Dick Lane)
Eddie Kane Eddie Kane ... Head Waiter
Charles Irwin Charles Irwin ... Drunk
Kippee Valez Kippee Valez ... Carla
Denver Pyle ... Doctor
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Storyline

Billy Coy comes to Carrell. His late father's mechanic Red hires Billy as a mechanic. Soon, Billy gets a job as a driver. Written by Daniel Ljungberg <meen@df.lth.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's restless, reckless ROONEY in the most exciting thrill-a-minute role of his career! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thundering Wheels See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Home video versions of the film run under 89 minutes. See more »

Goofs

During qualifying in Billy Coy's first race in the hot rod, there is a substance (sand or oil dry) on the track surface, in turn one, during his warm-up lap, and during his first green flag lap. During the next 2 laps, turn one no long has the substance on it, but after Billy receives the checkered flag, the substance is back on the track, and tire tracks can be seen going through the substance. See more »

Quotes

Red Stanley: The way I figure it, another thousand dollars and she'll be ready for Indianapolis.
Reno Riley: I wouldn't give you another buck and a half.
Red Stanley: But Reno, this is the fastest iron in the business!
Reno Riley: How many years have you been takin' this pile of junk to the race, Red? Six? Seven?
Red Stanley: Eight.
Reno Riley: And you never even qualified.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the following written acknowledgements: "Grateful acknowledgement for their invaluable assistance is made to the AAA, the URA, the Racing Drivers of America, the Indianapolis Speedway and Mr. Wilbur Shaw." See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Pickers: What Happens in Sturgis... (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Que Bueno
Written by Kermit Goell and Fred Spielman
Sung by Lina Romay at nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Big Wheel was a pretty entertaining Mickey Rooney car racing movie
2 August 2015 | by tavmSee all my reviews

In this one, Mickey Rooney reunites with two of his "Andy Hardy" series castmates: Spring Byington who played his mother there as Mrs. Emily Hardy in the first entry-A Family Affair-and plays his mother here as well. And Lina Romay who was in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy singing a couple of songs there and sings one here as well as also dance with Mickey here as she did in that Hardy movie a few years before. It also has a couple of stars from Gone with the Wind: Hattie McDaniel whose last feature film appearance this was for her and Thomas Mitchell who, as I always like to cite in these reviews, was also in my favorite movie-It's a Wonderful Life. I'll just now say this was quite an entertaining racing picture. Oh, and the leading lady is a Mary Hatcher whose mostly dressed as a mechanic with a cap covering her head but in one scene, she's dressed glamorously thinking she's on a real date with Rooney but the latter was thinking of something work-related during that time!


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