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Thunder in Carolina (Jul-1960)

Director: Paul Helmick

Writer: Alexander Richards

Keywords: Action/Adventure, Auto Racing

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Rory Calhoun
8-Aug-1922 28-Apr-1999 Auto thief turned actor
Alan Hale, Jr.
8-Mar-1921 2-Jan-1990 The Skipper on Gilligan's Island
Connie Hines
24-Mar-1931 18-Dec-2009 Carol Post on Mister Ed


Review by anonymous (posted on 25-May-2006)

I first saw this movie when I was a child, at about the age of 9. It was usually on as a double feature, followed by Thunder Road. I originally saw it at a "downtown" theatre, then later several times at the "drive-in". Mitch Cooper (Rory Calhoun) gets injured in a short track wreck, and goes to look up an old friend. The friend has died, but his auto repair business has been taken over by Les York (John Gentry). York offers to help fix up Cooper's wrecked race car and be his partner, plus sub as driver, all against his wife Rene's (played by Connie Hines, later of Mr. Ed fame) wishes. Mitch tries to put the move on Rene', but she will have nothing of it. After lots of action on and off the track, Mitch and Les split up. Mitch is forced to drive his own car, and Les is hired by Mr. Reichert, a wealthy car owner. Mitch teams up with his old racing pal, Buddy, (played by Alan Hale, Jr., later The Skipper on Gilligan's Island), who volunteers to be his crew chief. It all comes down to a battle at the end between Cooper and York, when they go head to head to win the Southern 500. This movie helped get me hooked as a NASCAR fan at an early age. There is some great footage of early Darlington action featuring some of the legends of the sport, and featuring cars that really looked "stock". The acting is questionable, but a must see for real NASCAR fans.

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