Fast cars, a hot romance and a behind-the-scenes look at the world famous Indy 500 - Winning has it all. It stars Paul Newman as Frank Capua, a hotshot race car driver who will do anything to win. However, this obsession nearly causes him to lose his wife, Elora (Joanne Woodward), and his friendship with arch-rival Luther Erding (Robert Wagner) along the way. Released in 1969, Winning features a believable personal drama, spectacular footage of the 1968 Indy 500 with its famous 17-car pileup and a biting look at the people who make their living in the fast lane. It also marks the screen debut of Richard Thomas, who went on to become television's John-Boy of The Waltons.
Paul Newman plays a racecar driver, Frank Capua, who steps out of his professional and personal isolation long enough to marry a single mother, Elora (Joanne Woodward). The two have a brief but happy life together with Elora's 13-year-old son, Charley (Richard Thomas), but it comes to an end when Frank goes back on the racing circuit and Elora assuages her loneliness in the arms of her husband's chief rival, Luther (Robert Wagner). Frank checks out, and Charley travels across the country to find him and effect a reconciliation. A touching movie (with some good racing footage) by director James Goldstone, Winning
is about the real pain of people who have become used to a certain way of safe, arm's-length living, and who have to learn to get beyond it to find redemption in love and faith. Good performances by Newman, Woodward, and Thomas, who makes a terrific impression in one of his earliest roles. --Tom Keogh