Good Racing Movies

Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Good racing movies feature men (and women) driving at top speeds, risking their very lives for the thrill of victory and a substantial cash prize. And in some cases, the action is instead played out on an asphalt highway or back-country road. But no matter where their pedal-to-the-metal antics occur, these good racing movies will satisfy your need…your need for speed.

And be sure to check out the Netflix collection of racing movies. We do get a small commission for sending you there, but we’re willing to dress Jamie Farr up like a Sheik and have him personally deliver your selections. If that last part makes no sense, then you definitely need to watch more films about racing.

Days of Thunder (1990) – Tom Cruise plays one of his many hotshot characters, this time as NASCAR racer Cole Trickle. He gets in the pants of a hot brain surgeon (Nicole Kidman) and becomes friends with his former nemesis (Michael Rooker). Then, sadly, the villainous Xenu returns to Earth and destroys everyone except for crusty ‘ol Robert Duvall.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) – Will Farrell plays it for laughs as an oddball NASCAR racer who was born to “go fast.” Sitting on top of the world with his best friend (John C. Reilly) and hot wife (Leslie Bibb), his position as racing’s top dog is suddenly challenged by an openly gay French Formula One driver (Sacha Baron Cohen).

Greased Lightning (1977) – Richard Pryor stars in this film loosely based on the real-life exploits of Wendell Scott, a taxi driver and moonshine transporter who became a stock car champion in the 1960s.

Grand Prix (1966) – Four Formula One drivers are followed through the fictional 1966 season. Real Formula One drivers make appearances, and the actual racing footage has made this one a hit with car enthusiasts. Starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, and an international supporting cast.

Cannonball (1976) – Covering an illegal cross-continent road race, the real-life material that inspired Cannonball would later be used in films like The Cannonball Run. Fresh off his role as Frankenstein in Death Race 2000, David Carradine plays a convict who enters in an effort to regain his racing career.

Heart Like a Wheel (1983) – Shirley Muldowney (Bonnie Bedelia) was a real-life champion drag racer during the ‘70s and early-’80s. This is her story. Also starring Beau Bridges, Leo Rossi, and Hoyt Axton (sans mogwai).

Megalopolis Expressway Trial (1988) – Now available on DVD, this influential Japanese street racing film was banned from theaters in its home country. That didn’t stop it popularity, however, and five sequels would follow, exerting a strong influence on later films like The Fast and the Furious.

Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) – Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee, I’d sure like to see singer James Taylor and Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson race cars”? Well, pal, this is your dream movie. It also features lots of footage of historical Route 66 before the damned interstate highways screwed up everything. Personal favorite Warren Oates co-stars as a drifter known only as GTO (due to his 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge).

Le Mans (1971) – “The King of Cool” (aka Steve McQueen) stars in this film about the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Featuring tons of racing action, much of it filmed during the actual event, the movie has retained a dedicated following over the years. McQueen was a noted racer, and his passion for the sport brings an authenticity not found in many racing films.

The Fast and the Furious (2001) – Responsible for revitalizing the genre, TFATF deals with a cop (Paul Walker) who goes undercover to infiltrate the illegal street racing scene in Los Angeles. Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune and Ted Levine. Several sequels would follow, and this remains the first big budget film to cover the Asian import scene in the United States.

TV episodes & movies from Netflix – now instantly to your TV! Free trial

If your engine is still revving after reading about these good racing movies, why not take a look at some high-octane links:

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 6:38 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Good Racing Movies”

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February 19, 2010


Where’s Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) and Thunderbolt (1995) with Jackie Chan? (not one of the best)

February 20, 2010


Gone in 60 Seconds has made it onto several of my other lists involving cars and racing. This time around, I thought I’d give some other films a chance to shine. I’ve never seen Thunderbolt. It it worth a look?

November 25, 2010


REDLINE should be on this list


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