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Racing Movies: Q-S

commercial movies involving auto racing

Racing Movies Q-Z


The Race (1916). A disinherited playboy works as a mechanic. To get the money to pay his debts he enters a transcontinental auto race.

A Race for Life; also called Mask of Dust (1954). Routine story highlighted by racing scenes from a number of European circuits. Richard Conte stars as an American driver attempting a comeback. His wife leaves him because he won=t quit racing, then returns just as he is winning the Grand Prix in Piedmont, Italy.

The Racers; also called Such Men Are Dangerous (1955). Kirk Douglas stars as an ambitious driver in a story notable for excellent scenes of  Italian sports cars and Grand Prix racing, which were captured at the Mille Miglia, Grand Prix de Napoli, LeMans, Nurbourgring, Spa, and the Grand Prix de Italia, among other races. Formula One racer Phil Hill coached Douglas and co-stars Gilbert Roland and Caesar Romero. Based on the 1953 novel by Hans Reusch.

Racing Hearts (1923). Perhaps the earliest racing movie, this light comedy drama stars Richard Dix, Theodore Roberts, and Agnes Ayres. Dix and Ayres are the offspring of rival automobile manufacturers. Dix infiltrates the opposition's plant as a worker and is given the task of designing a race car by Ayres. The climax is the big road race, sundry dirty dealings, and romance between Dix and Ayres. Filmed at Muroc Lake/Edwards Air Force Base. Several race drivers had cameo roles, including Edward Heffman, Jerry Wunderlich, Jimmy Murphy, Tommy Milton, and Ralph DePalma.

The Racing Strain (1932). A driver (Wallace Reid, Jr.) is banned from the track for drinking. His girlfriend convinces him to return to racing, but a rival drugs him and he is unable to drive. A teenaged friend takes over and wins the race.

Racing Youth (1932). Frank Albertson plays a young auto designer who fixes up a race car in order to win the race, save the company, and marry the girl. The race is set on the fourteen mile drive around the Monterey Peninsula.

Rebel of the Road. SEE Hot Rod

Red Dirt Rising (2010). Independent film based on a true story follows a decade (1939-1949) in the lives of Jimmie Lewallen and his wife Carrie. Jimmie and his friends Bill Blair and Fred Harb haul moonshine and get involved in racing, becoming some of stock car racing’s pioneers. The film premiered at North Wilkesboro Speedway in spring 2010.

Red Hot Tires (1935). A top driver (Lyle Talbot) is falsely convicted of causing the death of a rival. He escapes from prison and goes to South America, where he becomes a racing champion. Returning to the U.S. to help his girlfriend, he is pardoned by the judge because of new evidence. Mary Astor is the love interest. Packed with race footage, most of it from American Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles. The climax was filmed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Red Hot Wheels; SEE To Please a Lady

Red Line 7000 (1965). The story of a trio of stock car drivers and the women in their lives. Great racing action bolsters a weak plot. Starring James Caan, John Robert Crawford, and James Ward as the drivers, with Laura Devon, Gail Hire, and Marianna Hill as the girlfriends. Racing sequences were filmed at Daytona, Darlington, Charlotte, Riverside, and Ascot (England).

Ride 'Em Cowboy (1936). A cowboy (Buck Jones) finds himself in a boxcar with a race car and a mechanic (George Cooper). The car owners need to win the big race to save their ranch. The mechanic convinces the cowboy to drive the car, using the nickname of  "Speed."  The good guys triumph over the villains as "Speed" wins the race and the girl.

Road Demon (1938). Dirt track champion Jimmy Blake (Henry Archer), who works as a truck driver, convinces his employer to back a race car. In the big race he is forced into the wall but his friend wins and sets a new speed record. Race sequences were filmed at the Indianapolis 500.

Road Racers (1959). SCCA racing in Southern California. A weird plot, but the action at Riverside Raceway, Willow Springs, and the U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca is great. Starring Joel Lawrence.

Road Rebels (1963). Story of teen hot rodders.

The Roar of the Crowd (1953). Howard Duff stars as the driver whose dream is to win the Indianapolis 500. Lots of dirt track action, including the famous 14 car wreck and pit fire at Langhorne. Race drivers Duke Nalon, Johnnie Parsons, Henry Banks, and Bill Vukovich appear as themselves.
The Roaring Road (1919). Wallace Reid stars as an auto salesman who wants to break speed records and marry the boss=s daughter. The climax is a race between a car and a train. Includes footage of the 1919 Santa Monica Road Race. The five short stories by Bryan Morgan on which the film was based were published in 1920 as a novel called The Roaring Road.

Roaring Roads (1935). A wealthy young man leaves home to find adventure and meets a girl  who wants to drive a race car in place of her injured brother. The heir offers to drive in the big race and win the money the family needs.


Safari 3000 (1982). A writer is assigned to cover a three-day, 3,000 kilometer automobile race in Africa. Starring Stockard Channing and David Carradine.

The Seven Second Love Affair (1966). A documentary film about weekend drag racer Rick Stewart of Bakersfield, California, who wins a race but destroys his engine in the process. He and his partners rebuild it and set a new record in a qualifying run, but the engine explodes at the finish line. The recordB219.65 in 7.30 secondsBstood for two months.

Six Pack (1982). Stock car racer Kenny Rogers, a ramblin= man, adopts six larcenous orphans and together they turn Rogers' career around and find a mother/wife in Erin Gray.

Smash-Up Alley; SEE 43: The Petty Story

Speed (1936). James Stewart plays test driver Terry Martin, who has designed a new carburetor. The company agrees to enter a car in the Indy 500 to test the new design. There is a malfunction and Terry crashes. Then, with the help of the love interest (Wendy Barrie), he tries to break the land speed record at Medoc dry lake. Parts of the movie were filmed at the Chrysler testing grounds in Detroit, the Indy race footage came from an actual 500 race, and the land speed record attempt was based on the 301.13 m.p.h. record set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1935 at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The Speed Classic (1928). A wealthy young amateur driver is dumped by his girlfriend because he wants to race against professionals in The Speed Classic. Eventually she reconsiders, rescues him from a Tijuana jail, and helps him enter the Classic, which he wins. Based on "They're Off!" a short story by Arthur Hoerl.

Speed Crazed (1926). Repeated kidnappings don't prevent the hero from winning the race and the girl.

Speed Crazy (1959). After accidentally killing a garage mechanic during a holdup, an arrogant racing enthusiast hides out as a mechanic in a small town and beats the local drivers at the racetrack. The police eventually catch up with him. Racing scenes were filmed at Griffith Park.

The Speed Demon (1925). A mishmash of action including racing sequences as the story follows the exploits of Yankee race driver Speed Sherman, who loves a Kentucky colonel's daughter. Indy 500 champion Barney Oldfield appears in a cameo role.

Speed Devils (1935). Two friendly rivals crash during a race and decide to open a garage together.

The Speed Kings (1913). Race car driver Barney Oldfield portrays himself.

The Speed Limit (1926). A racing enthusiast has developed a new tire process. He drives in the big race to test the tires and wins the race, a manufacturer=s contract, and the girl.

Speed Lovers (1968). Top NASCAR driver Fred Lorenzen plays himself in this story of a young man who wants to become a stock car driver. Filmed primarily around Atlanta, but includes racing action at Atlanta; Riverside; Hampton, Georgia; Asheville; Charlotte; North Wilkesboro; Rockingham; Daytona; Darlington; and Martinsville.

Speed Mad (1925). A young daredevil driver leaves home with only $5 after arguing with his father. He enters a race and foils the villains to win the $5000 prize.

Speed Maniac (1919). Rancher Billy Porter (Tom Mix) goes to San Francisco to promote an engine he has designed. Triumphing over various adversities, he enters a car with his motor in a race and wins. Some of the scenes were shot at Elysian Park in Los Angeles.

Speed to Spare (1937). Indy 500 winner Tommy Morton (Charles Quigley) visits the orphanage where he grew up and tracks down his younger brother Larry (Edward J. Nugent), who had left before him. Larry, now calling himself ASkids@ Brannigan, is a daredevil midget auto racer. Tommy gets Larry a AAA card that allows him to work as a mechanic on Tommy=s car. The brothers become racing rivals before all is forgiven in the big race. Scenes from Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Ascot in Los Angeles.

Speed Zone (1989). Another cross-country road race, this time from Washington, DC to Santa Monica, CA. The entrants in the Cannonball Run include John Candy and Donna Dixon.

Speeding Venus (1926). A woman wins a cross-country race in a car prepared by her mechanic boyfriend.

Speedway (1929). An auto racer forgoes victory so that an aging competitor with heart problems can win the big race.This was the first feature film to focus on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Includes Indy 500 footage.

Speedway (1968). Elvis Presley and stock car racing at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver Steve Grayson (Presley) owes back taxes due to the malfeasance of his manager. Aided by an IRS agent (Nancy Sinatra), he enters the Charlotte 600 and wins enough to pay the feds.

Speedway Junkie (1998). Teenager looking to become a stock-car driver gets derailed by the sleaze of Las Vegas and falls into a male prostitution ring. Produced by Gus Van Sant. SCRC

Spinout; also called California Holiday (1966). Elvis Presley is a road racer pursued by a bevy of beauties (Shelly Fabares, Diane McBain, Deborah Walley). Check out Elvis= Cobra 427. Race scenes were filmed at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Stock Car (1955). An American driver (Paul Carpenter) helps an English woman (Rona Anderson) save the family garage after her father is killed in a race. He wins the race and the girl.

Straightaway (1933). Two racing brothers (Tim McCoy and William Bakewell) become rivals on and off the track. Plenty of action, including the Indy 500.

Stroker Ace (1983). Burt Reynolds is a stock car driver and Jim Nabors is his faithful mechanic. Thin material bolstered by some track action at Daytona and other top tracks. A bonus is seeing Reynolds in a chicken suit.

Such Men Are Dangerous; SEE The Racers

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