Heart like a Wheel (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Heart like a Wheel1983

Heart like a Wheel (1983)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Heart like a Wheel Photos

Movie Info

In this drama based on a true story, a female race-car driver battles convention to become a national hot-rod champion. Her struggles with the racing world's sexism and the increasing jealousy of her pit-mechanic husband are alternated with numerous auto-race re-creations.


Bonnie Bedelia
as Shirley Muldowney
Beau Bridges
as Connie Kalitta
Leo Rossi
as Jack Muldowney
Bill McKinney
as `Big Daddy' Don Garlits
Anthony Edwards
as John Muldowney (age 15-23)
Dean Paul Martin
as Sonny Rigotti
Paul Bartel
as Chef Paul
Ellen Geer
as Mrs. Marianne Kalitta
Nora Heflin
as Nurse North
Byron Thames
as John (age 10-13)
Brandon Brent Williams
as John (age 5-8)
Bruce Barloe
as Bass Player
Catherine Paolone
as Mrs. Good Joe
Michel Barrere
as NHRA Guard
Bruce Barlow
as Bass Player, Tex's Band
Creed Bratton
as Photographer
Tiffany Brissette
as Little Shirley
James Burton
as Guitar Player
Jill Carroll
as John's Girl Friend
Mark Dawson
as Guitar/Harmonica, Tex's Band
Paul Linke
as Reporter
Diane Delano
as Shirley's Sister
Leonard Termo
as Good Joe
Sam Laws
as Piano Player
Terence Knox
as Jack's Friend
Sam Posey
as Himself
Tom Duffield
as Rahn Tobler
Bob Minor
as Ralph, NHRA Official
Chris Fontana
as Frank the Crank
Marvin Graham
as Kalitta's Crew Chief
Steve Evans
as Himself
Robert Ridgely
as Bob Morton, "Sportsline"
Mitzi Hoag
as Shirley's Mother
Michael Talbott
as Englishtown Announcer
Dick Miller
as Mickey White
View All

Critic Reviews for Heart like a Wheel

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Heart Like a Wheel goes a little spongy by failing to let the protagonist force enough of the action... A charismatic leading performance remains this film's tantalizing intangible - it might have put a good movie over the top emotionally.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Heart is an often enthralling film of determination, heartbreak and triumph.

April 3, 2018 | Full Review…

It manages without sentimentality or overstatement to tell a true story of liberation.

August 20, 2019 | Full Review…

This charming movie further expanded the roles allotted to women, chronicling the career of Muldowney (splendidly played by Bonnie Badelia), the only race driver (male or female) to have won three times the National Hot Rod Association World Championship

December 7, 2006 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

A solid entry in the overcoming-great-odds-to-become-a-champion biopic.

October 2, 2006 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

... and there STILL ain't many girls in NASCAR.

March 1, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Heart like a Wheel


Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer


bonnie bedelia is always good but not usually given parts worthy of her talent, this one is however and she delivers an outstanding performance.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Heart like a Wheel Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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