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Greased Lightning (1977)

The true life story of Wendell Scott, the first black stock car racing driver to win an upper tier NASCAR race.

Director:

Michael Schultz

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Pryor ... Wendell Scott
Beau Bridges ... Hutch
Pam Grier ... Mary
Cleavon Little ... Peewee
Vincent Gardenia ... Sheriff Cotton
Richie Havens ... Woodrow
Julian Bond ... Russell
Earl Hindman ... Beau Welles
Minnie Gentry Minnie Gentry ... Wendell's Mother
Lucy Saroyan Lucy Saroyan ... Hutch's Wife
Noble Willingham ... Billy Joe Byrnes
Bruce Atkins Bruce Atkins ... Deputy Turner
Steve Fifield Steve Fifield ... Deputy Drinkwater
Bill Cobbs ... Mr. Jones
Georgia Allen Georgia Allen ... Mrs. Jones
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Storyline

This is the true story of Wendell Scott, America's first African American NASCAR driver, once he returns from WWII to find his hometown the way he left it. With seed money for a taxicab business, he learns all the county roads. With his new knowledge an opportunity presents itself with some steep consequences. After an invitation to the local race track, a race car driver is born. The ethnic boundaries are a part of everyday life in 1950's Amercan life. You become part of his fight for equality, fairness and the American dream.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He drove 'em wild! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blyskawicznie See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maynard Jackson, Jr., the first African-American Mayor of Atlanta, appears in the film as the minister at Wendell and Mary's wedding. See more »

Goofs

In many of the in-car shots during the races you can hear that they are manual transmissions being double clutched, but the drivers never take their hands of the wheel to shift. See more »

Quotes

Hutch: [sarcastically ] If they shoved your brain up a gnat's ass, it would look like a BB in a boxcar.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks' Wild, Wild West (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

All Come True
Written by Fred Karlin & Norman Gimbel
Performed by Richie Havens
See more »

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User Reviews

Somewhat uneven but fairly entertaining biopic
17 August 2015 | by Wizard-8See all my reviews

I knew nothing about the real life race car driver Wendell Scott before watching this film, so I was really interested to see what this movie would teach me about him. After watching it, I have to say the movie is very uneven. On the positive side, the movie does give the audience a good taste of the various struggles Scott must have gone through with his ambition to be the first black race car driver - we see racism both casual and more intense. As Scott, Richard Pryor does at first seem a little uneasy in a role that's more serious and less comic than usual, but he eventually finds his groove and for the rest of the movie delivers a pretty good performance, from showing joy to showing frustration.

On the other hand, the movie sometimes seems aimed at a more yahoo crowd than one that would more appreciate a dead serious examination of the legend, such as the treatment of Scott's time in the moonshine trade (plenty of yuk yuk comedy and car chases.) The screenplay also awkwardly and suddenly jumps ahead in time a number of years a few times, which leads to some unanswered questions. Supporting characters, such as those played by Pam Grier and Beau Bridges, don't get that much to do.

Despite flaws such as those, the movie is worth a look. While uneven, it's never a slog to sit through. And though you can tell Scott's real story was in many ways a lot different than what this movie claims, as I said it does give you a good taste of some of what Scott went through.


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