Racing Movie Project: Heart Like a Wheel

Heart Like a WheelMovie: Heart Like a Wheel

Year: 1983

Starring: Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges

Plot: The story of Shirley Muldowney, the “First Lady of Drag Racing.”

Rating: ⚐⚐⚐ (out of 5)

My thoughts: In honor of the NHRA’s return next weekend at Pomona, I’m reviewing Heart Like a Wheel. Another movie from the early 1980s, this also plays likes a Lifetime movie.

While it may not be the best racing movie in the world, it shows how drag racing started as a grassroots sport and evolved into the NHRA. Throughout the movie, you can see the evolution of the cars into those we recognize today. And many of the drivers and crew chiefs portrayed in the movie are still around today. As a relatively new NHRA fan, I was surprised at how many names I recognized.

Most importantly, the movie portrayed Shirley’s rise through the NHRA ranks. While the movie documented many of the obstacles she had to overcome, I have a strange feeling that this was a sugar-coated version of Shirley’s story.

Next week: Next week is the third movie in the Burt Reynolds trilogy – Cannonball Run.

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