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Encyclopedia > Days of Thunder
Days of Thunder
Directed by Tony Scott
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Don Simpson
Written by Robert Towne
Starring Tom Cruise
Robert Duvall
Nicole Kidman
Randy Quaid
Cary Elwes
Michael Rooker
J.C. Quinn
Music by Hans Zimmer
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) 27 June 1990
Running time 107 min.
Language English
Budget US$60,000,000
IMDb profile

Days of Thunder is an auto racing drama film released in 1990 by producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott. The cast includes Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes and Michael Rooker. The film also features appearances by real life racers, such as Rusty Wallace, and the late Neil Bonnett. Commentator Dr. Jerry Punch, of ESPN, has a cameo appearance. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (509x755, 72 KB) This image is of a movie poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the movie or the studio which produced the movie in question. ... See also Tony Scott for the American clarinet jazz musician. ... Jerome Leon Bruckheimer (born September 21, 1945) is a film and television producer in the genre of action, drama, and science fiction. ... Donald Clarence Simpson (October 29, 1943 - January 19, 1996) was an American film producer. ... Towne in the 1960 movie Last Woman on Earth Robert Towne (born November 23, 1934) is an American actor, screenwriter and director. ... Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV on July 3, 1962) is an Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and film producer. ... Robert Selden Duvall (born January 5, 1931) is an Academy Award and four-time Golden Globe winning American film actor and director. ... Nicole Mary Kidman AC (born June 20, 1967), is an Academy Award-winning Australian[1] actress. ... Randall Rudy Randy Quaid (born October 1, 1950) is an Academy Award-nominated actor and former comedian. ... Ivan Simon Cary Elwes (born October 26, 1962) is an English actor credited as Cary Elwes, best known for his performances in The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Saw. ... Michael Rooker (born April 6, 1955 in Jasper, Alabama) is an American actor. ... J.C. Quinn (November 30, 1940 – February 10, 2004) was an American film and theatre actor. ... Hans Florian Zimmer (born September 12, 1957) is an Academy Award, Grammy, and Golden Globe award-winning film score composer from Germany. ... Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ... June 27 is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... “Racing cars” redirects here. ... A drama film is a film that depends mostly on in-depth character development, interaction, and highly emotional themes. ... Donald Clarence Simpson (October 29, 1943 - January 19, 1996) was an American film producer. ... Jerome Leon Bruckheimer (born September 21, 1945) is a film and television producer in the genre of action, drama, and science fiction. ... See also Tony Scott for the American clarinet jazz musician. ... Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV on July 3, 1962) is an Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and film producer. ... Nicole Mary Kidman AC (born June 20, 1967), is an Academy Award-winning Australian[1] actress. ... Robert Selden Duvall (born January 5, 1931) is an Academy Award and four-time Golden Globe winning American film actor and director. ... Randall Rudy Randy Quaid (born October 1, 1950) is an Academy Award-nominated actor and former comedian. ... Ivan Simon Cary Elwes (born October 26, 1962) is an English actor credited as Cary Elwes, best known for his performances in The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Saw. ... Michael Rooker (born April 6, 1955 in Jasper, Alabama) is an American actor. ... Russell William Rusty Wallace (born August 14, 1956 in Fenton, Missouri) is a former NASCAR champion, NASCAR Busch Series car owner, and television broadcaster with ESPN and ESPN on ABC. Wallace had his first live broadcast of the Indy 500 on May 28, 2006. ... Neil Bonnett (July 30, 1946 - February 11, 1994) was a NASCAR driver who compiled 18 victories and 20 poles over his 18-year career. ... Jerry Punch, M.D. (born August 20, 1953) is an auto racing and college football commentator on ESPN. Dr. Punch also does local radio spots in Knoxville. ...


The title was used as the name of a NASCAR-style racing series in Europe from 2003-04, but was later changed to Stock Car Speed Association. Stock Car Speed Association (SCSA) is a stock car racing series that races at Rockingham Motor Speedway in England. ...

Contents

Plot

Days of Thunder revolved around a talented, hot-shot auto racing rookie, Cole Trickle (Cruise), who, after trying his hand in the American open wheel ranks, seeks to win on the NASCAR circuit. His mechanic mentor, Harry Hogge (Duvall), acts as his crew chief and Dr. Claire Lewicki (Kidman) is a young brain surgeon who tries to tame Cole. “Racing cars” redirects here. ... The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the largest sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States. ...

Cole Trickle is chosen to drive by a crew chief, however Cole's lack of knowledge about cars leads to many bad finishes. Following Cole's confession the team gets better and wins a race gaining them a sponsor (Exxon SuperFlo). Then:

  • Cole and his rival get involved in a massive wreck, sending both to the hospital.
  • Cole meets with his brain surgeon and their relationship grows. *Cole is replaced by a cocky young driver (Cary Elwes as Russ Wheeler) and does so well that when Cole is cleared to race in his car (#46) again, Cole's team owner (Tim Daland) creates a second team for Russ Wheeler (#18).
  • Cole is able to race again but his rival needs brain surgery, and therefore cannot race anymore.
  • Cole races again but is intimidated by his teammate which reaches a boiling point when the teammate causes Cole to get a flat tire and wins the race. Cole repairs his tires and rams his teammate during his victory lap. The owner is furious and fires Cole's whole team.
  • Cole's former rival needs to fund his family but his former sponsor is unwilling to pay if his car is not in the Daytona 500. Cole agrees (Mello Yello sponsored).
  • On race day, Cole's crew chief sees the car has a bad engine and asks his former owner to borrow one. During the race Cole's accelerator sticks, but a bump from his former teammate fixes it but damages the transmission. They go into the pits, fix the transmission but can only put the car in 4th (high) gear. So the former owner (Quaid) tells his pit crew to help push Cole's car to get the car started. Cole then starts gaining momentum before the green flag is flown for the restart and "slingshots" (uses the additional speed gained by drafting to gain passing momentum) past the entire field. When he gets up to 2nd place, behind ex-teammate and new rival Russ Wheeler, he goes to the outside twice with Wheeler slamming him into the wall, but the third time, Cole fakes to the outside and passes Wheeler inside, slamming him into the wall, and goes on to win the race. Cole and his crew chief Harry Hogge share a moment of reflection, then race to victory lane.

Mello Yello in fountain at a Burger King restaurant Mello Yello is a caffeinated, citrus flavored soft drink produced and distributed by the Coca-Cola Company. ...

Reception

The movie received middling reviews from critics who mostly shrugged off the sometimes over-the-top special effects and plot that, in many ways, resembled the earlier Bruckheimer, Scott and Cruise vehicle, Top Gun (some calling it "Top Gun on wheels")[citation needed]. Some NASCAR aficionados also took offense at the overuse and exaggeration of the "rubbing" (bumping) action of NASCAR, featuring maneuvers between cars that were overly dangerous and uncommon, even for the period of time in NASCAR history that the movie was filmed. This included a scene where Cole, after having been knocked out of a race at the very end by an opponent, instructed his pit crew to replace his flattened tires, proceeding to run out on the track and smash his car into the victorious rival who knocked him out of the race. Top Gun is a 1986 American film directed by Tony Scott and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer in association with Paramount Pictures. ...


Kidman's casting as a brain surgeon was also panned by some critics; they considered that the actress, who was 23 at the time, was too young to play the role of a surgeon, which typically requires many years of training.

Harry Hogge (Duvall) and Cole Trickle (Cruise) in Days of Thunder.
Michael Rooker as Rowdy Burns.
Nicole Kidman as Dr. Claire Lewicki
Randy Quaid as Tim Daland
John C. Reilly as Buck Bretherton
Cary Elwes as Russ Wheeler
Don Simpson as Aldo Benedetti
#51 Exxon Lumina used by Rowdy Burns.
#46 City Chevrolet Lumina used by Cole Trickle.
#46 Superflo Lumina used by Cole Trickle when he gets a sponsor.
#18 Hardees Lumina used by Russ Wheeler.
#51 Mello-Yello Lumina used by Cole Trickle in the last race.

The plot was very loosely based on some real-life NASCAR personalities: Duvall's character was based on crew chief Harry Hyde, Cruise's on Tim Richmond, and Randy Quaid's on a composite of several owners, one of whom was Rick Hendrick. Hendrick also provided the movie cars, driven by then-NASCAR drivers Greg Sacks, Bobby Hamilton, and Hut Stricklin, with Hamilton making his Cup debut at Phoenix in 1989 in a movie car. Although this was not acknowledged by the film publicly this was obvious to fans from many coincidences between the film and well known events. Image File history File links Dot004. ... Image File history File links Dot004. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Harry Hyde was a leading crew chief in NASCAR stock car racing in the 1970s and 1980s. ... Tim Richmond (June 7, 1955 - August 13, 1989) was an American NASCAR race car driver. ... Joseph Riddick Hendrick III (born July 12, 1949 in Warrenton, North Carolina), better known as Rick Hendrick is an owner of several NASCAR stock cars and teams, as well as one of the largest automotive chains in the United States. ... Greg Sacks(born November 3, 1952, in Mattiuck, New York, is a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver. ... Bobby Hamilton (born May 29, 1957 in Nashville, Tennessee) is a driver and owner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit. ... Wayman Hut Stricklin was born on June 24, 1961, in Calera, Alabama. ...


Real life Comparisons

Ironically, a similar event to Trickle's intentional wrecking of another competitor happened later that season in the running of the Southern 500. Early in the race, drivers Morgan Shepherd and Ken Schrader made contact, sending Schrader into the wall. An angry Schrader returned to the race, and rammed Shepherd into the wall, knocking both drivers out of the race. Morgan Shepherd has been a NASCAR Nextel Cup driver since 1977. ... Ken Schrader with the 2006 Little Debbie paint scheme Kenneth Schrader (born May 29, 1955 in Fenton, Missouri) is a second-generation race car driver. ...


In another part of the movie, Trickle is told he can not pit because the team is too busy eating ice cream. This incident took place with Harry Hyde as crew chief and Benny Parsons as driver in the 1973 Southern 500 [1]. Missing image Ice cream is often served on a stick Boxes of ice cream are often found in stores in a display freezer. ... Benny Parsons (born July 12, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan, currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina) is an American NASCAR announcer/analyst on NBC and TNT. He became famous as the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup (now NEXTEL Cup) champion. ...


In a 2006 NASCAR Busch Series race, Carl Edwards, after being spun while racing for the win, came to pitroad and then came back on the track to hit race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. This move was noted as Earnhardt's hand was outside the window at the time Edwards came to hit him. The NASCAR Busch Series is a stock car racing series owned and operated by NASCAR. It is NASCARs minor league circuit (often compared to Triple-A baseball), and is a proving ground for drivers who wish to step up to the organizations big league circuit, the Nextel Cup. ... Carl Michael Edwards, II (born August 15, 1979) is a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series driver for Roush Fenway Racing. ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. ...


Aldo Bennedetti is most likely a reference to Aldo Andretti.


Trivia

  • In honor of Bobby Hamilton, who was undergoing cancer treatments at the time (and unfortunately lost his battle in January 2007), Kyle Busch raced a Craftsman Truck for Billy Ballew Motorsports, truck #51, and painted similarly to the Rowdy Burns car from the movie, winning at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May 2006. Busch even went so far as to have "Rowdy Busch" over the driver's side door where his name would normally be. The original Rowdy Burns Exxon #51 from the movie was used by Hamilton in his Cup debut in 1989 at Phoenix.
  • In a scene where Cole is giving out an autograph to a teenage girl, Tom Cruise actually gave out his own autograph to the girl.
  • This movie was released nationwide in the United States on 27 June 1990.
  • The Hardees food chain as well as Matchbox and Racing Champions distributed 1:64-scale die-cast cars from the movie to the public. Many of these cars can be found still on eBay.
  • Many shots of in-movie races both at the 2 Daytona 500's and the July Firecracker 400 were taken from the actual 1990 Daytona 500.
  • John C. Reilly's first of two NASCAR-themed movies he starred in, as he also played the role of Cal Naughton Jr. in the 2006 movie "Talladega Nights" starring Will Ferrell.
  • When Cole is first introduced Jenny, wife of competitor Rowdy Burns, she says "Hi Tom".
  • Monogram produced the #18 Hardee's, #46 City Chevrolet, #51 Mello Yello Chevrolet Luminas has 1:24th scale model kits, the decals for the #46 Superflo Oil and #51 Exxon can be found in the aftermarket.
  • In the 2007 film Redline, Cole's Superflo Oil Chevy is in the film. But is #66 and is blue instead of pink.
  • During the NASCAR Busch Series races on ESPN, the announcers will often use quotes from the movie during and before the race.
  • One of the City Chevrolet sponsored cars from the movie was an actual Winston Cup car owned by Rick Hendrick and driven by Tim Richmond, upon whom the character of Cole Trickle was based. The car has since been re-re-skinned to it's original appearance, and is on display at the Hendrick Motorsports Museum in Charlotte.
  • Another movie car driven by Tom Cruise in close-ups is on display at the real City Chevrolet dealership in Charlotte, which is owned by Rick Hendrick's family.
  • Some scenes are adopted in Pixar´s "Cars".

When Cole and Rowdy are told to drive to dinner together and they rent another car and wreck both of them. The taurus is actualy rented from Hertz and the Olds or buick is rented from Avis. Doug H Sac Ca. Bobby Hamilton (born May 29, 1957 in Nashville, Tennessee) is a driver and owner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit. ... Kyle Thomas Busch (born May 2, 1985 in Las Vegas, Nevada) is an American race car driver. ... Days of Thunder is a 1990 NASCAR racing simulation video game loosely based off of the 1990 movie Days of Thunder. ... Hendrick Motorsports is a group of NASCAR racing teams started by Rick Hendrick in 1984 under the name All Star Racing, racing only Chevrolets, racing in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series circuits. ... Redline is a 2007 action film starring an ensemble cast. ... NASCAR Busch Series logo The NASCAR Busch Series is a stock car racing series owned and operated by NASCAR. It is NASCARs second division (often compared to Triple-A baseball), and is a proving ground for drivers who wish to step up to the organizations top level, the... ESPN, formerly an acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is an American cable television network dedicated to broadcasting sports-related programming 24 hours a day. ... Pixars studio lot in Emeryville Pixar Animation Studios is an American seven time Academy Award winning computer animation studio based in Emeryville, California (USA). ... Cars can refer to: Cars (film), a Disney/Pixar movie released in 2006 Cars (video game), a cross platform video game based on the 2006 film Cars (song), a hit song by Gary Numan CARS, the acronym The Cars, an American new wave band. ...

  • The Kings Dominion in Richmond, Va used to have an Days of Thunder themed ride. They still have a replica of the #51 Mello Yellow Chevy parked at the ticket windows.

Awards & nominations

Days of Thunder was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound. Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... The Academy Award for Sound Mixing is an Academy Award that recognizes the finest or most aesthetic sound mixing or recording, and is generally awarded to the production sound mixers and re-recording mixers of the winning film. ...



When Cole and Rowdy are told to drive to dinner together and they rent another car and wreck both of them. The taurus is actualy rented from Hertz and the Olds or buick is rented from Avis.


Music

The score for Days of Thunder was composed by Hans Zimmer; Jeff Beck made a guest appearance on guitar. A score album was never released, although a bootleg was later available. However, the track "The Last Note of Freedom" on the soundtrack was based on Zimmer's score. A soundtrack album was released in 1990 by Geffen. Maria McKee's Show Me Heaven was released as a single alongside the movie. The album is also notable for the inclusion of Guns N' Roses' cover of Bob Dylan's Knockin' on Heaven's Door, a month before the song was released on the Use Your Illusion double album. Hans Florian Zimmer (born September 12, 1957) is an Academy Award, Grammy, and Golden Globe award-winning film score composer from Germany. ... Geoffrey Arnold (Jeff) Beck (born June 24, 1944 to Jeff and Ethel Beck in Wallington, Greater London, England) is an English guitar virtuoso and songwriter. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... Cover of self-titled debut album. ... Show Me Heaven is a popular single by Maria McKee. ... Guns N Roses (abbreviated as GNR) is a nine-piece American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. ... Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, musician, and poet who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. ... Knockin on Heavens Door is a song written by Bob Dylan from Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, the soundtrack of the 1973 film of the same name. ... Use Your Illusion is a Guns N Roses album that is mixed from the Use Your Illusion I & II albums. ...


Soundtrack Track Listing

  1. The Last Note of Freedom - David Coverdale
  2. Deal for Life - John Waite
  3. Break Through the Barrier - Tina Turner
  4. Hearts in Trouble - Chicago
  5. Trail of Broken Hearts - Cher
  6. Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Guns N' Roses
  7. You Gotta Love Someone - Elton John
  8. Show Me Heaven - Maria McKee
  9. Thunderbox - Apollo Smile
  10. Love Live the Night - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  11. Gimme Some Lovin' - Terry Reid

This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Missing You record cover John Charles Waite, born on July 4, 1955, in Lancaster, Lancashire, England, is a rock singer. ... Tina Turner (born November 26, 1939) is an 11 time Grammy Award-winning (sharing three), American Singer, Dancer, Record Producer, Executive Producer, Film Producer, Actress, Writer, Performer, Songwriter, Author and occasionally Painter whose career has spanned from 1956 to present. ... Chicago is a pop-rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. ... Cheryl Sarkisian LaPierre (better known as Cher) (born on May 20, 1946),[1] is an American actress, singer, songwriter, author and entertainer. ... Knockin on Heavens Door is a song written by Bob Dylan from Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, the soundtrack of the 1973 film of the same name. ... Guns N Roses (abbreviated as GNR) is a nine-piece American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. ... Sir Elton Hercules[1] John CBE [2] (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is a multiple Grammy and Academy Award-winning English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist. ... Show Me Heaven is a popular single by Maria McKee. ... Cover of self-titled debut album. ... Apollo Smile (born Paula Apollo Anne Scharf on February 16, 1967 in New York City) is a pop music songwriter, singer and voice actress. ... Joan Jett (born Joan Marie Larkin on September 22, 1958 (or 1960 according to some sources) is an American rock and roll guitarist and singer. ... Gimme Some Lovin is a song written by Steve Winwood, Spencer Davis and Muff Winwood, and originally performed by the Spencer Davis Group. ... Terry Reid (born 13 November 1949, Huntingdon, England) is a rock singer and guitarist noted for his soulful voice in the same vein as contemporaries Paul Rodgers and Rod Stewart. ...

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