Cast & Crew
Racecar driver Bill Whipple has an argument with his foster father, Jim MacDonald, also a racer, before the Indianapolis 500 Race, and deserts him to drive another car. MacDonald is barred from the race because of a weak heart; simultaneously, Whipple is ditched by the owner of the other car. He returns to race with MacDonald, and toward the end Whipple lets him take the wheel for the winning finish.
Speedway (1929) - Speedway (1928)
Haines was a famous star of the silent screen and early talkie period who was near the peak of his commercial popularity here; soon he would be named the #1 male box-office draw in the country. Haines was getting bored with acting, however, and was already starting to transition to a new career as an interior decorator, a field in which he would find lasting success and a fame equal to that of his stardom. He went on to decorate homes of many top Hollywood figures including numerous movie stars. Some have attributed his retirement from acting in 1934 to the fact that he was homosexual and thus unable to continue working, but the fact is he had already started his new career in the years prior, and many other gay actors -- closeted or not -- continued to work in the industry.
Anita Page was a frequent Haines co-star and great friend. They starred in five features together, not counting The Hollywood Revue of 1929, in which they play themselves. Director Harry Beaumont was a real Hollywood veteran who would go on to amass a total of 99 directorial credits of shorts and features dating back to 1914.
Variety described Speedway as "about 80% race track." The New York Times called it "a breezy piece of nonsense...exciting.... Impertinence and beauty clash and cuddle."
Director: Harry Beaumont
Screenplay: Alfred Block, Ann Price (adaptation); Byron Morgan (scenario); Joseph Farnham (titles); Byron Morgan (story)
Cinematography: Henry Sharp
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Music: William Axt (uncredited)
Film Editing: George Hively
Cast: William Haines (Bill Whipple), Anita Page (Patricia 'Pat' Bonner), Ernest Torrence (Jim MacDonald), Karl Dane (Dugan), John Miljan (Lee Renny), Eugenie Besserer (Mrs. MacDonald), Polly Moran (Waitress).
by Jeremy Arnold