Greased Lightning is a pleasant, loose and relaxed comedy starring Richard Pryor in an excellent characterization based on real-life racing driver Wendell Scott.
Beau Bridges plays a redneck driver who befriends Pryor’s stolid efforts to break the color barrier in car racing. Pam Grier is smashingly decorous but wasted in a supportive wife role, while Cleavon Little is cast as Pryor’s close friend.
Story covers about 25 years, from Pryor’s release from Second World War Army service to championship race in 1971.
Another virtue of the film is its discreet conveyance of an important theme: In any large society, progress by any minority group is accomplished through particular individuals doing notable things.