Director: Bobby Roth
Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Helen Shaver, Bradley Pierce (2014)
By Tammy Wanchena
Nothing tears at your heartstrings like a kid with an incurable disease. Unless of course you add a surly alcoholic old flat track racer to befriend him. That is what lies in store for you in this month’s 1994 Made for TV Drama, Ride with the Wind, starring Craig T. Nelson and Helen Shaver.
Frank “The Eagle” Shelby missed his chance at winning the Nationals years ago when he crashed into his best friends’ bike in the final loop of the race. So Frank gains some weight, takes to the bottle, and borrows money he can’t pay back. In my circle, we refer to this as becoming middle aged. In his case, it represents his struggles with not being on top of the flat track circuit. One night while drinking and driving, Frank comes across a ‘damsel in distress’ in need of a tire change. Rather than help her, she winds up helping him when he passes out in front of her car. If you have ever seen a Made for TV movie in your lifetime, I am guessing you can figure out the rest. Spoiler alert: the kid with the incurable disease is her son and they are going to become a family! And if you are extra lucky, The Eagle may just wind up winning the Nationals!
Dated? You bet! Sappy? For sure! But I honestly did not hate this movie in spite of its predictability. It would make a good Sunday afternoon family movie. The racing looked pretty convincing. And let’s face it, what kind of person would I be if I made fun of a movie about a kid with an incurable disease?