Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)


Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a 2006 American comedy film, directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell. The film also features John C. Reilly, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb, Amy Adams, Gary Cole, Jane Lynch, and Sacha Baron Cohen. Various Saturday Night Live alumni also make appearances. Racetrack scenes at Texas Motor Speedway were shot at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, using a Porsche Cayenne outfitted with camera mounts on all four corners of the car.


Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) was born to "go fast." He was born in the back seat of his father's car, and raised solely by his mother, Lucy Bobby (Jane Lynch), while his drug addicted alcoholic father, Reese Bobby (Gary Cole), is absent. At age ten, Reese shows up at Career Day at Ricky's school, but after giving a vulgar speech, he is thrown out of the school. Before leaving, Reese tells Ricky "If you ain't first, you're last". Ricky commits the quote to memory. Many years later, while working on a pit crew as the jackman for a race team, he replaces an uninterested driver and ends up finishing in third place, despite starting mid-race in last place. Ricky quickly soars to the top of NASCAR, achieving fame and fortune at Dennit Racing and meeting his future wife, Carley (Leslie Bibb). He arranges to get his best friend, Cal (John C. Reilly), as the second driver of the team. Fast forward to several years later; while on top of the racing world, Ricky is challenged by French Formula One driver, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen). Girard outperforms Ricky on the track and becomes Dennit Racing's top driver. Ricky, desperate to regain his dominance, pushes himself too hard and ends up in a spectacular wreck, during which he believes that he is on fire. While recovering, he persists in the belief that he is paralyzed. His tests at Rockingham Speedway show that he has lost his touch and he fails to regain a spot on the team. Carley, yearning to be married to a top NASCAR driver, plans a divorce and a marriage to Cal before Ricky gets home that night. Ricky takes his two sons, Walker and Texas Ranger and moves back home with his mother. He takes a job as a pizza delivery boy and is reduced to using a bicycle after losing his license (crashing into a customer's shopping cart, then into the sheriff who wrote him the ticket for the previous incident). With his life at its low point, Reese suddenly reenters Ricky's life and tries to teach Ricky to drive by using the fear he experienced. With the retraining and guidance of his father, Ricky regains his confidence, but still refuses to race after Reese walks out. When Ricky runs into his former assistant, Susan (Amy Adams), at a bar, she convinces Ricky to get back into racing at the Talladega 500 and they fall in love. The race ends with all cars being wrecked and Girard and Bobby running on foot to the finish line. Both drivers are disqualified for violating race procedures and Cal wins the race, having been in third prior to the wrecks. Ricky and Cal repair their friendship and the family, consisting of Ricky, Susan, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Lucy, meet Reese in the parking lot and reunite for a dinner during which they plan to get thrown out of Applebee's.