Heart Like a Wheel

Overview

Heart Like a Wheel stars Bonnie Bedelia as real-life racing champion Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney. Overcoming sexist hurdles, Shirley works hard to qualify for the major auto race competitions of America. Firmly in her cheering section is her dad Hoyt Axton, and--at least at first--her husband, mechanic Jack Muldowney Leo Rossi. When Jack, jealous of Shirley's success, leaves her, she casts her lot with troublesome banned racer Connie Kalita Beau Bridges. The film comes to a head at the 1966 National Hot Rod ...
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Overview

Heart Like a Wheel stars Bonnie Bedelia as real-life racing champion Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney. Overcoming sexist hurdles, Shirley works hard to qualify for the major auto race competitions of America. Firmly in her cheering section is her dad Hoyt Axton, and--at least at first--her husband, mechanic Jack Muldowney Leo Rossi. When Jack, jealous of Shirley's success, leaves her, she casts her lot with troublesome banned racer Connie Kalita Beau Bridges. The film comes to a head at the 1966 National Hot Rod Association World Championship, which Shirley eventually wins three times.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Heart Like a Wheel is a by-the-numbers character study of the twists and turns in a woman's road toward success in a sport traditionally dominated by men. Beginning with what look like outtakes from Grease, Wheel takes Bonnie Bedelia's Shirley Muldowney realistically through the decades, from plucky naif to world-weary veteran, layering on the wear and tear as well as the shiftless suitors. By the time she earns the nickname "Cha Cha," she has become the grand dame of the sport, but also kind of a ridiculous figure, who traded her youthful vigor for the crass comfort of acceptance among a community of hot shots. Her effort to reclaim the old Shirley, while refusing to succumb to the fleeting charms of Beau Bridges' Connie Kalita, make up the last portion of the film, solidifying the female empowerment message that serves as an undercurrent. Bedelia gives an assured performance, and the film moves forward with narrative competence, but there are few deviations from the standard formula used to chart the tumultuous careers of athletes or other creative individuals.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2014
  • UPC: 013132619194
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Time: 1:53:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 13,068

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bonnie Bedelia Shirley Muldowney
Beau Bridges Connie Kalitta
Leo Rossi Jack Muldowney
Hoyt Axton Tex Rogue
Bill McKinney "Big Daddy" Don Garlits
Anthony Edwards John Muldowney, Age 15-23
Dean Paul Martin Sonny Rigotti
Paul Bartel Chef Paul
Missy Basile Angela
Michael Cavanaugh NHRA Boss
Ellen Geer Mrs. Marianne Kalitta
Nora Heflin Nurse North
Tiny Wells Tiny
Jill Carroll John's Girl Friend
Sally Dennison
Thomas A. Duffield
Jesse Aragon Carlos
Bruce Barlow Bass Player, Tex's Band
Creed Bratton Photographer
Paul Bryar Matt, Card Player
Martin Casella Repoter #1
Mark Dawson Guitar/Harmonica, Tex's Band
Diane Delano Shirley's Sister
Mitzi Hoag Shirley's Mother
Tim Kimber Buddy
Terence Knox Jack's Friend
Sam Laws Piano Player
Paul Linke Reporter
Richard Miller Mickey White
Bob Minor Ralph, NHRA Official
Harry Northrup Trooper
Catherine Paolone Mrs. Good Joe
Sam Posey Himself
Robert Ridgely Bob Morton, "Sportsline"
Michael Talbott Englishtown Announcer
Leonard Termo Good Joe
Byron Thames John, age 10-13
Brandon Brent Williams John, age 5-8
Technical Credits
Jonathan Kaplan Director
O. Nicholas Brown Editor
Peg Cummings Set Decoration/Design
Thomas A. Duffield Set Decoration/Design
Ken Friedman Screenwriter
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
Robert Gravenor Sound/Sound Designer
Rich Irvine Executive Producer
Martin F. Katz Producer
Shirley Muldowney Consultant/advisor
James Newport Production Designer
Conrad Palmisano Stunts
David E. Peckinpah Screenwriter
Debby Porter Stunts
Laurence Rosenthal Score Composer
Charles Roven Producer
Arne Schmidt Associate Producer
Tom Snow Songwriter
James L. Stewart Executive Producer
William Theiss Costumes/Costume Designer
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