Nothing Great But We At Least Get to See Some Stars
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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