Speedway (1968)

95 mins | Drama | 13 June 1968

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writer:

Phillip Shuken

Producer:

Douglas Laurence

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Editor:

Richard Farrell

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Leroy Coleman

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film, originally titled Pot Luck, was announced in the 18 Jan 1967 DV as an upcoming Elvis Presley picture for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM), where Presley had begun making films in 1957 with Jailhouse Rock (see entry). A 19 Apr 1967 Var item stated that Norman Taurog would direct, marking his eighth collaboration with Presley. The title change to Speedway was announced in the 5 May 1967 DV, which cited 12 Jun 1967 as the planned start of principal photography. Filming was slightly delayed until 26 Jun 1967, according to a 7 Jul 1967 DV production chart.
       Location shooting took place at the Charlotte Speedway in Charlotte, NC, as stated in the 22 May 1968 Var review. Other shooting occurred on the MGM studio lot in Culver City, CA.
       The 21 Jun 1967 DV listed Alex Romero as choreographer. The following actors were identified as cast members in DV items published between 12 Jul 1968 and 17 Aug 1967: Kathy Nelson; Robert J. Stevenson; Arlene Charles; and Burt Mustin.
       According to an 8 Feb 1968 LAT brief, a Thanksgiving 1968 opening was initially planned, but the release date was moved up to summer 1968. The world premiere was scheduled to take place in Charlotte on 12 Jun 1968. Promotions included a contest sponsored by the dating service Project Tact which drew 50,000 entries, and awarded two teenagers tickets to the premiere, held at Charlotte’s Park Terrace Theatre, as noted in the 5 Jun 1968 Var. Other premiere festivities entailed a citywide parade and ...

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The film, originally titled Pot Luck, was announced in the 18 Jan 1967 DV as an upcoming Elvis Presley picture for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM), where Presley had begun making films in 1957 with Jailhouse Rock (see entry). A 19 Apr 1967 Var item stated that Norman Taurog would direct, marking his eighth collaboration with Presley. The title change to Speedway was announced in the 5 May 1967 DV, which cited 12 Jun 1967 as the planned start of principal photography. Filming was slightly delayed until 26 Jun 1967, according to a 7 Jul 1967 DV production chart.
       Location shooting took place at the Charlotte Speedway in Charlotte, NC, as stated in the 22 May 1968 Var review. Other shooting occurred on the MGM studio lot in Culver City, CA.
       The 21 Jun 1967 DV listed Alex Romero as choreographer. The following actors were identified as cast members in DV items published between 12 Jul 1968 and 17 Aug 1967: Kathy Nelson; Robert J. Stevenson; Arlene Charles; and Burt Mustin.
       According to an 8 Feb 1968 LAT brief, a Thanksgiving 1968 opening was initially planned, but the release date was moved up to summer 1968. The world premiere was scheduled to take place in Charlotte on 12 Jun 1968. Promotions included a contest sponsored by the dating service Project Tact which drew 50,000 entries, and awarded two teenagers tickets to the premiere, held at Charlotte’s Park Terrace Theatre, as noted in the 5 Jun 1968 Var. Other premiere festivities entailed a citywide parade and a boat trip on Lake Norman.
       The soundtrack was set to be released by RCA Victor, according to a 12 Jun 1968 Var item. Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne were identified in the 30 Aug 1967 DV as the songwriters who penned “He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad” and “Who Are You? (Who Am I?).”
       The 12 Jul 1968 DV pointed out that Patti Jean Keith, the one-and-a-half-year-old who played “Annie Esterlake,” was director Norman Taurog’s granddaughter.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1967
p. 16
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1967
p. 1
Daily Variety
5 May 1967
p. 6
Daily Variety
5 May 1967
p. 8
Daily Variety
25 May 1967
p. 2
Daily Variety
13 Jun 1967
p. 2
Daily Variety
21 Jun 1967
p. 3
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1967
p. 15
Daily Variety
7 Jul 1967
p. 8
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1967
p. 8
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1967
p. 4
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1967
p. 4
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1967
p. 4
Daily Variety
30 Aug 1967
p. 8
Los Angeles Times
8 Feb 1968
Section D, p. 18
Los Angeles Times
8 Aug 1968
Section F, p. 12
New York Times
14 Jun 1968
p. 43
Variety
19 Apr 1967
p. 55
Variety
22 May 1968
p. 18
Variety
5 Jun 1968
p. 5
Variety
12 Jun 1968
p. 46
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Dial coach
SOURCES
SONGS
"Your Groovy Self," words and music by Lee Hazlewood, sung by Nancy Sinatra; "Speedway," "He's Your Uncle Not Your Dad," "Who Are You? (Who Am I?)," "Let Yourself Go," "Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby," "There Ain't Nothing Like a Song," "Five Sleepy Heads," "Western Union," "Mine," "Goin' Home" and "Suppose," words and music by Mel Glazer and Stephen Schlaks, sung by Elvis Presley and The Jordanaires.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Pot Luck
Release Date:
13 June 1968
Premiere Information:
Charlotte, North Carolina, premiere: 12 Jun 1968; New York opening: 13 Jun 1968
Production Date:
began 26 Jun 1967
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
4 April 1968
LP35454
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
21601
SYNOPSIS

Stock car racer Steve Grayson spends most of his earnings helping Abel Esterlake, a poverty-stricken father of several little girls, though he still has enough left over to support a lavish lifestyle. Unknown to him, his manager, Kenny Donford, has lost the remainder of Steve's prize money by gambling on horses. To recover $145,000 in back taxes, Internal Revenue Service chief R. W. Hepworth assigns Susan Jacks to investigate the racer's finances and manage his affairs until the government debt is paid. Susan and Steve soon fall in love, despite initial antagonism, and together they try to obtain the money he owes. While qualifying for a high-paying race, Steve has an accident that seriously damages his car. His friends repair the car, and at the last minute Steve enters the race. Though he places third, he wins enough laps to pay most of his debt, leaving him free to continue his romance with ...

More Less

Stock car racer Steve Grayson spends most of his earnings helping Abel Esterlake, a poverty-stricken father of several little girls, though he still has enough left over to support a lavish lifestyle. Unknown to him, his manager, Kenny Donford, has lost the remainder of Steve's prize money by gambling on horses. To recover $145,000 in back taxes, Internal Revenue Service chief R. W. Hepworth assigns Susan Jacks to investigate the racer's finances and manage his affairs until the government debt is paid. Susan and Steve soon fall in love, despite initial antagonism, and together they try to obtain the money he owes. While qualifying for a high-paying race, Steve has an accident that seriously damages his car. His friends repair the car, and at the last minute Steve enters the race. Though he places third, he wins enough laps to pay most of his debt, leaving him free to continue his romance with Susan.

Less

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.