Winning Review

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Frank Capua is small time racing champion, who dreams of winning the ultimate race: The Indianapolis 500. But with his single-minded attitude, he risks losing his wife and his stepson.


It seemed for a while as if every male sex symbol of the 70s (McQueen, James Garner, Caan, Pacino, Reynolds) was obliged by contract to make at least one movie about motor racing (Tom Cruise probably ended that trend with Days Of Thunder), and here's real-life fast car buff Newman's crack at the whip, the title presumably referring to his character's need to triumph on the circuit rather than the star's chance of an Oscar.

In family affair casting, Newman's obsessive driver marries just-divorced Woodward and their relationship is strained by his fanatical devotion to whizzing around at high speeds and her predilection for his no-good rival Wagner.

As usual in these movies the script hops between loud cine-verite on-the-track footage (including one spectacular real-life multi-car smash up) and scrappy soap opera at home