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The Big Wheel (November 4, 1949)

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Mickey Rooney in The Big Wheel

Released on November 4, 1949: Mickey Rooney is race driver Billy Coy, who gets the chance to race at the Indianapolis Speedway, where his father was killed during a race.

Directed by Edward Ludwig

The Actors: Mickey Rooney (Billy Coy), Thomas Mitchell (Arthur 'Red' Stanley), Mary Hatcher (Louise Riley), Michael O'Shea (Vic Sullivan), Spring Byington (Mary Coy), Hattie McDaniel (Minnnie), Steve Brodie (Happy Lee), Lina Romay (Dolores Raymond), Allen Jenkins (George), Richard Lane (Reno Riley), Monte Blue (Deacon Jones), Jack Colin (himself, Indianapolis Raceway announcer), Mike Donovan (Indy 500 spectator), Franklyn Farnum (racing fan in the stands), George Fisher (announcer), Joe Gray (race car driver), Charles Irwin (drunk at the club), Eddie Kane (club head waiter), Kenner G. Kemp (ambulance intern), Donald Kerr (Indy 500 spectator), George Lynch (driver), Harold Miller (nightclub patron), Charles Perry (racing fan in stands), Denver Pyle (track intern), Jeffrey Sayre (mechanic), Brick Sullivan (policeman), Keppee Valez (Carla).

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If you are a car racing fan, you know that the Indianapolis 500 race is coming up very soon. If you are a car racing fan, you will certainly enjoy this movie from 1949 about a racing father and son. Billy Coy is the son of a famous race car driver that got killed one year in a 'who-do' car. (if you don't know what a 'who-do' is, you gotta watch, because I'm not telling :~)

Son Billy grows up and along with his mother go back to Indianapolis so Billy can become a driver like his dad. Of course he makes all the foolish 'coming of age' mistakes chasing after booze, fast women and good times that promise him a desolate future of destruction, death and woe. Will he find redemption and be able to drive in the big one?

This is Mickey Rooney at his best, and his mom, played by Spring Byington, is always a joy to watch. Filmed at the Indianapolis Speedway, you'll see romance, disaster, great racing scenes from the 1949 Speedway and the racing cars of that time.