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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Petty Story & The Wrestler DVD

 Not a great movie, but a must for Richard Petty and early NASCAR fans (from a Petty fan from way back)

Just so you know, I've given this movie 4 stars - not because it is a great movie. It is not, unless you are a die hard Petty fan. But, it is a valuable piece of NASCAR history - a little gem that I picked up in the super-cheap DVD section of a local store. It is a snapshot of the beginnings of the modern heyday of stock car racing.

Released in 1974 and full of footage from the early days of NASCAR, the production values in this one are not great, which is a mixed blessing. The old footage does not stick out from the rest of the film because the film itself is pretty grainy and has questionable sound at times.

Richard Petty plays himself and he comes off as a fairly wooden actor, which would be a pretty unfair assessment to make if you are not familiar with Richard's personality. He is slow-talking (careful with his words), casual, straight-backed and was as hard a driver as there ever was. So, Petty pretty much plays himself as I've always seen him.

Long-time mechanic Dale Inman plays himself. Darren McGavin (most famous for his role as the dad in "A Christmas Story") plays Lee Petty and Noah Beery, Jr. (most famous for his role as Rockford's dad in "The Rockford Files") plays Richard Petty's grandfather.

The plot of the movie is basically a set of flashbacks from the Petty family while Richard is in the hospital after a bad wreck in the World 600.

The 2nd movie on the disc is "The Wrestler" starring Ed Asner. Asner is a wrestling promoter. The movie features a number of famous wrestlers from the old days such as Dick the Bruiser, Ric Flair, and Dusty Rhodes. The sound quality on my DVD was very poor (very quiet).

I rate this DVD 4 stars out of 5 and it can be found on Amazon.com here: The Petty Story & The Wrestler.

Reviewed on November 25, 2007.

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