Review: HURLEY Is An Enjoyable Documentary About A Racer, Not Racing


Hurley is an interesting portrait of one of the legends of motorcar racing and his struggles to succeed as a gay man in the spotlight.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Hurley is a new documentary directed by Derek Dodge and executive produced Patrick Dempsey about racing legend Hurley Haywood. The film tells Haywood’s story as both a racer and a gay man in the public eye in the 1970’s and his struggle to balance his public and personal lives.

Haywood is a very compelling subject for a documentary because he is both one of the most successful racers of the world. He has always been very charismatic and that shines through in the documentary, allowing him to carry the movie and make his story interesting to the audience. Even people who are not racing fans will likely sympathize with Haywood.

It seems like a film about a sports legend like Haywood would detail his career and the accomplishments he made. However, this movie is more about Haywood’s personal life and the ways in which it posed a challenge to his success. Just enough is explained about Haywood’s career as a racer to make his story sympathetic and compelling.

hurley helmet

The real highlight of the film comes with the movie’s evaluation of LGBT themes and establishing Haywood as an icon of the gay rights movement. Haywood is certainly admirable for the perseverance he showed despite the immense difficulties he faced. The film does a great job of making him into a great role model for anyone, but particularly LGBT youth.

The interviews in the movie are definitely very well-shot and well-selected. Some of the interviews with Haywood are extremely deep and insightful into his life and personality. He comes across as very down-to-Earth and approachable despite the astronomical success he has achieved. Other interviews with other people in Haywood’s life or prominent figures in modern racing do a good job of supplementing his story.

hurley team

In terms of pacing, the film is quite short, so it is able to move at a solid pace. There are a few segments in which the movie does become somewhat repetitive that could have been tightened up, but for the most part, it works pretty well. Haywood’s story is involving enough that you will be able to stay invested in the film.

On a technical level, the movie is quite strong. The film blends archive footage with interviews in a way that is effective and has plenty of diversity to keep the audience’s attention on the screen. The interviews are quite well-shot, and the editing is great. Additionally, the movie uses music in a way that is very interesting and intriguing.

Overall, Hurley was a solid documentary about Hurley Haywood’s personal life. It may have benefitted from detailing his career a bit more, but it is a very revealing and personal doc.

Hurley is now available on VOD.


A Wilderness of Error | Alive Preview | FX

The story is just beginning. A Wilderness of Error, a two-part FX documentary series, premieres Sept 25. Next Day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more A Wilderness of Error clips: A Wilderness of Error is a five-part docuseries from award-winning producers of The Jinx, Marc Smerling and Jason Blum, based on the book…

Star Trek: Lower Decks – When A Visiting Captain Comes To Town (Ep. 7, “Much Ado About Boimler”)

"Ensign Mariner (Tawny Newsome) is less than thrilled to find out that the U.S.S Cerritos will play host to a visiting captain, but Ensign Boimler (Jack Quaid) is elated to have a ""whole new butt to kiss."" Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access.…

Star Trek Day 2020 | Dominic Keating On The Items He Kept From The Star Trek: Enterprise Set

Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) had a little help lifting a few items from the set of Star Trek: Enterprise. Stream full episodes of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Subscribe To "CBS All Access" Channel HERE: For more content from "Star Trek: Enterprise," click HERE: Watch full episodes…

Star Trek: Lower Decks – When Talking It Out Fails (Ep. 6, “Terminal Provocations”)

Captain Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) and the rest of the U.S.S. Cerritos bridge crew aren't exactly successful at reasoning with an antagonist. Space debris is weaponized. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Subscribe To "CBS All Access" Channel HERE: For more content from…

Stylish with Jenna Lyons | Premieres November 26 | HBO Max

As president of J. Crew, Jenna Lyons became the “woman who dresses America” – a formidable business and style icon. Now, Jenna is experiencing a “rebirth.” A refreshing mix of elevated documentary and formatted competition, STYLISH WITH JENNA LYONS follows Jenna as she tackles design projects that will help define her future business. Join her…

Fargo | Installment 4: Crime Story Teaser | FX

A crime story is as American as apple pie. Fargo’s back with an all-new installment September 27th on FX. Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have…

The Fight – Trailer (Official) • Now Streaming on Hulu

The Fight follows three tenacious ACLU lawyers as they defend human rights and freedoms in front of the highest court. Now streaming on Hulu. ABOUT THE FIGHT At a defining moment in American history, a scrappy team of heroic ACLU lawyers battles for abortion rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights and voting rights. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S…

Emotional Moments in World’s Toughest Race | Prime Video

Pushed to exhaustion, and the limits of their strength, these competitors not only have to battle the course but their own minds. » Watch World's Toughest Race now exclusively with your Prime membership: » SUBSCRIBE: About World's Toughest Race: From the creator of Survivor, 66 teams descend upon Fiji to compete in the…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here