Cinema: Right Stuff

HEART LIKE A WHEEL

Directed by Jonathan Kaplan Screenplay by Ken Friedman

There they go—vrooom!—tearing up 400 yards of Middle America. The two hot-rod drivers are enacting the Automobile Age's axiom of machismo: Speed thrills. Ten seconds later, the cars barrel across the finish line and the winner steps out, shaking her shoulder-length hair, allowing herself a tight, triumphant smile. Shirley Muldowney, dragstrip ace.

In format, Heart Like a Wheel occupies the ragged terrain somewhere between old B movies and new TV movies. A blue-collar inspirational, it follows Muldowney from her teen-age nights...

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