The Big Wheel

Watch The Big Wheel

"Roaring at you with mile-a-minute thrills!"
  • NR
  • 1949
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 5.6  (610)

The Big Wheel, released in 1949, was a drama that delved deep into the world of car racing, the dangerous and exhilarating sport that had just begun to gain popularity at the time. The movie starred the young and talented Mickey Rooney, who brought to life the character of Billy Coy, a brash and overconfident race car driver aspiring to become a champion.

The storyline of The Big Wheel revolved around Billy, his journey, his motivations, and the various hurdles he had to overcome in order to achieve his goals. The movie was set in the era when stock car racing was still a relatively unorganized and underfunded sport, and drivers had to rely on their own raw talent, ambition, and determination to make it to the top.

The movie begins as Billy, a mechanic in his father's garage, gets his first big break in the racing world when he is given a chance to drive for a well-known car owner. Billy is ecstatic, and he fully believes that this is his shot at becoming a champion. However, he soon finds out that the world of racing is not as glamorous as he thought, and he is forced to confront his own limitations and the harsh reality that success comes at a price.

Over the course of the movie, Billy learns what it means to be a true racer, and how important it is to have a strong support system of friends and family. He also learns about the politics and greed that are a part of the racing world, and the sacrifices that have to be made to succeed. The Big Wheel takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride as Billy's ambition and determination are put to the test, and he has to face several tragedies and setbacks that threaten to derail his career.

One of the most compelling aspects of The Big Wheel is the portrayal of the father-son relationship between Billy and his dad, played by Thomas Mitchell. Billy's father is a tough, no-nonsense man who is not easily impressed by his son's racing aspirations. He believes that racing is a waste of time and that his son should focus on practical matters. As such, there is an underlying tension between the two characters throughout the movie. However, as Billy's career gains momentum and he experiences success, his father gradually comes to understand the importance of his son's dream and becomes a supportive figure in his life.

Another interesting character in the movie is the manipulative and ruthless race car owner, Little Joe, played by Michael O'Shea. Little Joe is a shrewd businessman who sees potential in Billy and takes him under his wing. However, he is not above using illegal means to ensure that his drivers win races, and he expects his drivers to play along. This sets up a conflict between Billy's desire to win races fairly and his loyalty to Little Joe, who has given him a chance to succeed.

Overall, The Big Wheel is an engaging and well-crafted drama that explores the world of racing in a way that feels authentic and compelling. Mickey Rooney delivers a standout performance as Billy Coy, bringing depth and nuance to the character's journey from a brash young driver to a seasoned racer. The movie's themes of ambition, family, loyalty, and sacrifice resonate with viewers even today, making The Big Wheel a timeless classic.

The Big Wheel is a 1949 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6.

The Big Wheel
Where to Watch The Big Wheel
The Big Wheel is available to watch free on Plex and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, The Roku Channel and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Big Wheel for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.6  (610)