3: The Dale Earnhardt Story

Anyone here watch it? What’d you think?

Ehh, it was better than “Stroker Ace” at least.

I thought it was decent, but there were some continuity problems that real NASCAR fans (like me) would catch, as well as some that everyone would notice.

A sampling:

  1. 2004 $20 bills in 1973. Oops.

  2. The field for the 2001 Daytona 500 apparently had whatever cars we could scrounge up. I saw a Miller Lite Taurus circa 1998 as well as Bill Elliott’s McDonald’s Taurus and the rainbow 24 rather than the flame car.

  3. Teresa was 16 the first time Dale met her. In the movie, she didn’t look 16.

  4. No one has EVER gotten that dirty in a Winston Cup car outside of a movie. Also, cars don’t get that beat up most of the time.

That said, I was impressed by how well Barry Pepper played Earnhardt. He looked and sounded a lot like the real man. The racing school instructor who played Dale Jr. did an excellent job as well.

I give it 4 lugnuts out of 5.

I saw a promo for it Thursday on Comedy Central and started laughing, and just about had beer shoot out my nose guffawing when I realized * it wasn’t a spoof, it was real.* Jesus, the clips they showed were over-the-top cheesy. I hope for the fans’ sake it was better than the commercial looked.

Cheese. That’s what it was, I thought.

It was entertaining, to be sure, but the cliches and anecdotes were flung around helter skelter. Hopefully, eventually, someone will make a more fact based and less candy coated movie about him. Pepper and the dude who played the older Jr. were well cast. Theresa, however, was not.

I was an Earnhardt fan, and while I didn’t have a hard time watching it, I didn’t like the scene with Dale & Neil Bonnett in RCR HQ talking about “I wouldn’t be caught dead at your funeral, either.”

I’ll probably watch it on repeats if nothing else is going on.

Oh, and the wooden handled screwdriver that Ralph uses for an axle key? I have one of those, and I’ve been tearing apart the basement looking for it. :slight_smile:

What I wanted/expected. Dale and Ralph riding all over the state in the 1950’s, more of Dale Sr’s rise and struggle from a local racer to The Intimadator, something that just kind of got 5 minutes. More of RC and Dale’s relationship, something key to their success. That 30 second conversation at the hotel did not do it. Less father/son heart to hearts or cliche exchange.

I noticed that as well.

Having said all that, it wasn’t terrible. 3 out of 5 lugs, mostly 'cause Pepper makes a great Dale. (wonder if that boy can drive?)

I have to say also my throat closed up a little bit at The Wreck, especially when DW comments “I hope Dale’s ok”, considering everything going on at the time. Damn.

I’ve never been big into hero worship of celebrities or sports stars. At one time I seriously disliked Dale Sr. Somehow after I started racing myself I grew to like him, even if his driving style was different than mine. Taking what I knew of him on and off the track (not much granted), he was the first sports figure I truly admired. It was over a year after his death before I watched much of a NASCAR race again. He was the show for me.

When I first heard the movie announced, I was pretty annoyed that ESPN was going to hack this up. I couldn’t see Barry Pepper as Dale Sr. at all. Then I read a review from a racing writer that said it was pretty good, so I decided to give it a chance.

It wasn’t great, but it was much better than I expected. It could easily have been longer though. I’m guessing it might only have about an 80 minute run time without all of the commercials. Bump that up to 120 and you could have filled in his relationship with Childress (bad casting choice, imo), shown how big of an empire Dale had built by the end, and even resolved his feud with Waltrip.

It was amazing how much they managed to vary Pepper’s age with the hair styles and such. There were times that he really hit the mannerisms right. As others have mentioned, the casting for Jr. was fine too.

More than anything, I guess it just made me realize that I still miss seeing that black number 3 car. Maybe that means the movie did its job?