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Racing Movies: H-K

commercial movies involving auto racing

Racing Movies H-K


Hard Charger; SEE Tiny Lund: Hard Charger

Hard Driver. SEE The Last American Hero

Hard Drivin'. SEE Thunder in Carolina

Harold Robbins' The Betsy. SEE The Betsy

Heart Like a Wheel (1983). An excellent film adaption of the life of drag racer Shirley Muldowny, who battled sex discrimination to become the NHRA champion. Bonnie Bedelia and Beau Bridges give outstanding performances as the feisty Muldowney and fellow racer (and husband) Connie Kallita. (SCRC)

Heights of Danger (1962). A man competes in an Alpine auto race in order to win the prize and save his family garage. Originally released in Great Britain in 1953.

Hell on Wheels (1967). Two brothers (John Ashley and Marty Robbins) are involved in moonshining and stock car racing. Robbins, who actually competed in a number of NASCAR events, also sings five songs.

Herbie Fully Loaded (2005). Herbie the loveable Volkswagon returns. Lindsay Lohan and Michael Keaton star in this comedy drama of the daughter of a former stock car driver who salvages the wrecked VW, restores it, and goes racing. (SCRC)

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977). Jim Douglas (reprised by Dean Jones) and Herbie the Volkswagon participate in the Monte Carlo road rally and unwittingly get mixed up with diamond smugglers. Herbie does well in the qualifying races, but falls for a cute powder-blue Lancia named Giselle, while Jim likes Giselle's driver, played by Julie Sommars. (SCRC)

High Explosive (1943). A daredevil midget racer takes a job driving for a friend's nitroglycerin shipping company. His carelessness costs a colleague his life, but in the end he sacrifices himself to save the company. Starring Chester Morris, Jean Parker, and Barry Sullivan.

High Gear (1933). Race driver "High Gear" Sherrod (James Murray) loses his nerve and quits racing when his mechanic is killed in a crash. He pays for the mechanic's son's education by working as a taxi driver. When the boy is seriously injured he overcomes his fear of speed and drives him to the hospital. He returns to the track and wins the big race. Includes dirt track racing action.

High School Caesar (?). John Ashley as the quintessential high school punk. The film includes a ten car drag race between the brains and the gangsters. Also stars Judy Nugent and Steven Stevens.

High School Confidential; also called The Young Hellions (1958). A cult classic, this is the story of the new kid in high school (Russ Tamblyn) who gets into the drug scene in an attempt to be cool. Features drag races betwen Tamblyn and good guy Michael Landon. Also starring Mamie Van Doren, John Drew Barrymore, Jackie Coogan, and Jan Sterling. Jerry Lee Lewis sings the title song.

High Speed (1920). Driver Billy Brice (Edward Erle) has been wrongly banned from racing for accepting a bribe. He rescues wealthy Edith Rhoades (Gladys Hulette) and becomes the race driver for her father. He wins the race and Edith, and is cleared of the bribery charges. Some scenes were filmed at Sheepshead Bay Race Track in New York. Race car driver Ralph DePalma participated in some of the racing sequences. The film was based on the novel by Clinton H. Stagg.

High Speed (1932). Dirt track racing is the backdrop as the mob muscles in and gets rid of the opposition with lethal driving tactics. Cowboy star Buck Jones stars as the race driver turned policeman who cleans it all up.

Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934). Musical comedy in which two friends (Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey) enter a cross country race and win.

Hot Rod (1950). Teens hold illegal drag races, but one of them finally convinces his father, a judge, of the need for a legal track to hold timing runs. "The film opens with footage of hot-rod time trials at El Mirage as an offscreen narrator describes legal hot-rod racing as 'educational as well as exciting,' and contrasts the sport with dangerous, illegal racing." Stars include James Lydon, Gil Stratton Jr., Myron Healey, and Gloria Winters.

Hot Rod; tv movie, also called Rebel of the Road (1979). Young drag racer, played by Gregg Henry, competes in a rigged race in California. The race fixer, played by Robert Culp, tries to ensure that his own son will win with the help of the police chief (played by Pernell Roberts), but others help the hero triumph.

Hot Rod Action (1969). Keith Jackson narrates a documentary of all types of motor racing, including the Indianapolis 500, Motor Trend 500, Daytona 500, Southern 500, Winternational Drags, Indianapolis National Drags, and the World Championship Drags. Among the racing personalities appearing in the film are Craig Breedlove and Art Arfons.

Hot Rod Gang (1958). Racing scenes and music by Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps (ABe Bop A-Lula@) and Eddie Cochran are the highlights of this predictable film. John Ashley and Jody Fair star along with Vincent.

Hot Rod Girl (1950). June Kenney gets mixed up with Richard Bakalyan, who steals car parts. A cop is killed in a chicken race, and the young thief comes to a bad end.

Hot Rod Girl (1956). Policeman Churck Connors and his sidekick John Smith try to establish a drag strip to get teenage racing off the roads. Scenes were filmed at San Fernando Raceway. Also starring Lori Nelson, Mark Andrews, and Frank Gorshin.

Hot Rod Herman (?). The Munsters go drag racing.

Hot Rod Hullabaloo (1966). A young student decides to enter the annual demolition derby. His rival tries to shoot him, but kills himself instead, and the student wins.

Hot Rod Rumble (1957). Big Arnie (Richard Hartunian) is accused of murder when a car like his Mercury forces his girlfriend (Leigh Snowden) and her current beau of the road and the boy dies. The film is highlighted by drag racing sequences from Pomona.


In Spite of Danger (1935). Dirt track champion Bob Crane (Wallace Ford) retires from racing after a serious crash and helps his friend start a trucking business. A business rival challenges our hero to a race to the top of Iron Mountain to determine who gets a trucking contract.

Indianapolis Speedway (1939). A remake of The Crowd Roars, starring Pat O'Brien as driver Joe Greer and John Payne as the kid brother who becomes his rival. Exciting track action. Drivers Billy Arnold, Elbert “Babe” Stapp, Louis Tomei, Fred Friday, Jimmy Miller, Fred Lecklider, Emory Collins, Bud Rose, and Art Klein appear in the film.


Jalopy (1953). The Bowery Boys are using a secret rocket fuel that makes their Model-T Ford unbeatable. Filmed at Culver Speedway, with real drivers George Dockstader, Fred Lamount, Harvey Perry, Louis Tomei, Dude Criswell, Dick Crockett, Pete Kellett, and Carey Loftin creating the action.

Johnny Dark (1954). Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie star in this romance of a young engineer who designs a car that wins a Canada-to-Mexico road race and also courts the boss’s granddaughter. Nice racing scenes; test track footage was filmed at the Packard proving grounds. The movie was made with the full cooperation of the SCCA. Remade in 1964 as The Lively Set.

Jump.  SEE Fury on Wheels

Jungle Terror.  SEE Fireball Jungle


The Killers (1964). Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager play two contract killers who are hired to kill race car driver John Cassavetes. Includes action at Riverside Raceway and Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles. Ronald Reagan appears as a gangster. Very loosely based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway.

Subject Guide

Suzanne Wise's picture
Suzanne Wise
Belk Library and Information Commons
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608-2026
tel: 828-262-2798

Curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection; Bibliographer for the departments of Communication, Computer Science, and Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment