# Similar Movies Like The Fireball
The Fireball 1950
About: With three Hollywood legends and its slam-em-over-the-handrail, roller-speedway realism. Filmed when Roller Derby was one of TV's most watched programs, this tiny entertainment steamroller remains a snappy jumbo popcorn treat for today's viewers, full of fabulous star wattage.
Released: 25 Nov 1950 Director: Tay Garnett Writers: Tay Garnett (original story), Horace McCoy (original story), Horace McCoy (screenplay) Actors: Mickey Rooney, Pat O'Brien, Beverly Tyler, James Brown Genres: Drama
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The Fireball Reviews:

'm one of the sons of the boy on whose life this film is based. Here are a several points that were various in the picture: My father skated under the name Eddie Cazar. One of his teammates was Johnny Cazar. If this film is a hybrid of the two Cazars' lives, someone will have to fill in the features on Johnny.My father was not an orphan. His Irish Catholic mother did leave him in order to take up with a French-Canadian Jewish gangster. Thus Eddie was left in the benignly neglectful care of my backwoods paternal grandfather. Either it was easier just to orphan him in the Hollywood ver or being an orphan was part of Johnny's story.My father was close to six feet tall, from the pictures I've seen I recall Johnny Cazar as being type of tall himself. Mickey Rooney: not tall. Granted Mr. Rooney should do many of his own skating stunts, so maybe that's why he got the part.The extent of the polio was seriously downplayed, which is the whole freaking mission of the movie! Polio was a large deal back then, and they really gloss over it. It really belittles my father's struggle and accomplishment. You receive a montage of treatments, including brief scenes of Mickey Rooney in an iron lung, and that's about it. No heavy weight loss, no being rendered mute and having his vocal cords removed, no long time spent in that iron lung; just a tiny paralysis, no large whoop. It was just like a terrible 'flu or something. They could have treated it more like the fight injuries were in "The Greatest Years of Our Lives." Maybe that would have been too expensive or something. Of course it makes his arrival for one final season of skating all the less spectacular. In a method my father was the Earvin Johnson of the era, having the disease everyone feared the most, yet managing to war back and still participate in a hugely famous sport.The treatment of his rise from road skater to rollerderby star is close enough for a '50s era family movie. I.e. not enough sex and no drugs. That's real for both Cazars.Real life is a lot more complex than reel life. His fall a lot harder, his climb up a lot harder, his triumph a lot more amazing, but it took a hell of a lot longer for redemption.So do check out this movie, it is a glimpse into a nearly forgotten famous culture and plague. Even if it is a watered down look into one man's life or two men's conflated lives.


After the war, and the demise of the ANDY HARDY series, Rooney seemed to be trying to search his niche in Hollywoodland.From around 1949 to 1956, Rooney made some of the very greatest movie noir ever place on celluloid: THE BIG WHEEL, MY OUTLAW BROTHER, QUICKSAND, and the classic DRIVE A CROOKED ROAD. THE FIREBALL is a other mini-classic.Yes, it's the typical sports story-young boy struggles to the top, becomes a dickweed, then after life-altering crisis becomes a "real hero." But it is how the Mick plays it here that makes this one nice viewing.It also doesn't harm to be able to catch a glimpse of MM actually and again-and also a pre-RIN TIN TIN Jim Brown.Throw in Pat O'Brien as a priest and you must classic!!!


If you are willing to suspend disbelief for 84 mins and agree that someone who has never skated can become a roller derby winner in a matter of weeks or months, then you just might play this movie. I watched it only to see Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest roles and wound up now liking the movie. Pat O'Brien gives a solid performance in a familiar role as Father O'Hara and it is hard not to fall in love with Beverly Tyler as Mickey Rooney's loyal, suffering girlfriend. And while Miss Monroe's role is a very minor one with only a several lines, her presence in this film, by definition, makes it a classic.



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