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Once Upon a Wheel (1971)

Paul Newman hosts and narrates this documentary from 1971 on the history of auto racing.


David Winters


William Edgar, Marc B. Ray (co-writer)




Credited cast:
Mario Andretti Mario Andretti ... Himself
Stephen Boyd ... Himself
Wilt Chamberlain Wilt Chamberlain ... Himself
Chuck Connors ... Himself
Kirk Douglas ... Himself
Hugh Downs ... Himself
Glenn Ford ... Himself
James Garner ... Himself
Pancho González ... Himself
Art Johnson Art Johnson ... Himself
Dean Paul Martin ... Himself
Paul Newman ... Himself - Host / Narrator
Cesar Romero ... Himself
Dick Smothers ... Himself
Al Unser Al Unser ... Himself (as Al Unser Sr.)


Paul Newman hosts and narrates this documentary from 1971 on the history of auto racing.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated



Canada | USA



Release Date:

23 February 1974 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

I giganti del brivido See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman (2015) See more »


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User Reviews

Nothing Great But We At Least Get to See Some Stars
5 December 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Once Upon a Wheel (1971)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Paul Newman hosts and narrates this documentary that is clearly meant to explain why so many people enjoy racing. The film is broken down into several categories including the men who race, the motors in the cars, those who watch and of course the wives of the men who drive. This documentary was originally shown on ABC and was a rather big thing back in the day as Newman not only promoted the film but also appeared on the cover of TV Guide. I think most racing fans will be entertained since they get to see some of the older racers like Mario Andretti and Al Unser. Movie fans will be entertained since they get to see not only Newman but various other celebrities including Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Dick Smothers, Cesar Romero, James Garner, Glenn Ford, Hugh Downs and Chuck Connors. The documentary really isn't going to teach anyone much as there has been so much more coverage since this thing originally aired. I think most people are already going to know the majority of the stuff discussed here and if they don't then I'm willing to bet that there have been many more documentaries about this subject released since 1971 that probably do a better job. I think it's important to know that this was made in 1971 and its goal then was to show America why they should be watching the sport. Today I think ONCE UPON A WHEEL is mainly of interest to those wanting to see some famous actors outside movie roles.

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