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'Grand Prix' - the out-takes?


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#1 Gary C

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 22:21

A thought struck me the other day while watching 'Grand Prix' (again) on TCM. They shot four Grands Prix during the making of the film, and it's such good quality that I thought that maybe the film company still has the rushes stashed away in a vault somewhere. Now, wouldn't it be a good idea to try & find them & maybe try & re-constitute those races from that footage? You can imagine they must have used between 4-6 cameras at each race, so there would be a few amount of each race (hopefully). Can you imagine having it all on DVD?? I'm talking about the race footage here, forget about the 'film' itself. I've already contacted the VP of Film Preservation at Warner Brothers in Burbank, he reckons they have absolutely no out-takes from the film at all. I've not been put off by that, so am now in the process of contacting John Frankenheimer himself (he just might have sneaked it away & put it in his garage or somewhere, you know what these film people can be like. Did you hear about all that unseen footage that came out of Chaplins' cellar after he died? Tons of stuff no-one had ever seen). What I want to know is, do you think it's a good idea, or shall I just go back to hibernating and forget all about it???

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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 22:39

Great idea Gary, go for it!!!:) :)

#3 FLB

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 22:46

:up:

Terrific idea!


I wouldn't be surprised if some footage did exist. I don't know if you've ever seen it, but during breaks on a Speedvision broadcast of the film, they had an interview with Frankenheimer. He commented some "behind the scene" images.

At one point, they showed a staging sequence of Stoddard's Monaco crash... :)

#4 Barry Boor

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 22:58

You know, I am seriously considering applying to BIRA for a ban to be put on anything connected with Speedvision being mention on TNF.

We Brits are being deprived of all this fantastic stuff and you colonial chappies keep reminding us of the fact! :p :lol: ;)

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 23:21

Originally posted by Barry Boor
You know, I am seriously considering applying to BIRA for a ban to be put on anything connected with Speedvision being mention on TNF.

We Brits are being deprived of all this fantastic stuff and you colonial chappies keep reminding us of the fact! :p :lol: ;)


Barry: if the scuttlebutt is to be believed there'll be nothing but NASCAR on Speedvision soon and they'll be feeling just as deprived as the rest of us!!:lol: :lol:

For what it's worth, Sky do put some historic stuff on, but they don't advertise it very well - the EPG isn't all it's cracked up to be!!

#6 Gary C

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 23:37

I'll obviously keep TNF informed of developments

#7 MOTORSPORT RESORT

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Posted 03 August 2001 - 13:06

in reference to Grand-Prix I know for sure miles and miles of film was "cut " from the final version, as they had to reduce hours and hours into something that people would be able to sit and watch.
I also have a real good contact at Warner Bros. keep watching my site "Emporium" page for future developments. DVD is coming...

www.f1power.com:smoking:

#8 911

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Posted 03 August 2001 - 13:57

Speaking of the movie, Grand Prix, Amazon.com is selling the soundtrack on CD. Although, I think they are currently sold out. I used to have the record (well, my parents did) and it was great. They had pictures & info inside the record cover.




#9 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 04 August 2001 - 09:06

Gary C

"Grand Prix" crops up as a subject on TNF very frequently, doesn't it? Way back (in the 20th century) I mentioned on another GP thread the fact that ITV in Britain made a documentary as part of the old "Whicker's World" series on the making of the movie which I clearly remember seeing as a child. Obviously, as it was made in 1966 it was originally broadcast in the UK in Black and White. However, some, if not all of this footage must still exist as in the 1980's ITV showed a resume series of Alan Whicker's career which featured edited versions of many of these old programmes, including excerpts from the "Grand Prix" documentary - and I'm sure it was in colour!

Maybe contacting ITV would provide you with an alternative route of enquiry to MGM/Warner Brothers. I don't know which of the ITV franchise companies made "Whicker's World" in the 60's - it might have been Associated Redifusion. My hunch would be that the current franchise holder for the London Region, Carlton Television PLC would be worth trying.

.

#10 Gary C

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Posted 04 August 2001 - 15:03

Thanks for that Eric, I'll certainly keep it in mind.
You know, I think I remember seeing the repeat of one of those programmes. I seem to remember a section of it showed the set-up of the Monaco crash sequence and James Garner was really getting worked up with one of the 'locals'?? It obviously wasn't going smoothly that day..........(perhaps this is the sequence they have showed on Speedvision?).
Apart from that, I can't remember anything about the programme at all.

#11 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 04 August 2001 - 17:18

From what I remember of the Whicker programme, the entire documentary centered around the Monaco sequence. It featured the preparation of the cars for the Stoddart /Arun collision, the use of steam cannons to fire Arun's car into the harbour and Stoddart's car up the cliff face and also showed actor Brian Bedford being "bloodied" by the make-up team. I remember James Garner being pretty narked and complaining of being soaked and cold, after all, he'd just been dunked into the Med. A lot of Whicker's comments related to the horrendous costs being incurred eg. deliberately wrecking brand new cars costing £10,000 each.

#12 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 August 2001 - 18:00

I must confess I thought that the 'cars' that were 'fired' into the water and up the wall were simple mock ups made from plywood. If so, I suggest the cost may have been somewhat less than £10,000.

#13 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 04 August 2001 - 20:12

I don't think they were mock ups - but they weren't F1 cars. From what I've read, they were F2 chassis with various dummy inlets, vents, exhaust pipes etc stuck on to make them look more like F1 cars. I'm pretty sure the two used in the accident scene at Monaco were engineless too. There is a sequence in the film where Arun's car is being raised out of the water at the end of a crane and there appears to be a big empty space where the engine should be. Chopped cars were also used for "in car" footage eg. one half chassis was rigged to the rear of a lorry allowing frontal close up shots of the drivers whilst the car was moving, albeit under tow from the truck.

#14 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 02:52

They were actually F-3 cars and Jim Russell did the "build-up" for MGM that made them as identical as possible in appearance to specific GP cars that were running that year. That included matching the helmets and closely approximating the names (so that the live p.a. sound could be used). This has been covered in some detail in previous threads on TNF. I was at every GP that year and particularly remember watching the filming of the harbor sequence at Monte Carlo.

#15 biercemountain

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 18:08

Wasn't it uncanny how much the actor who played Stoddard looked like Jim Clark? Good casting!!!!

I'm sure some amount of out-take footage exists but you can bet that miles of it were simply thrown in the garbage. What a pity.

#16 Gary C

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 18:42

One of the things I'd like to know is why is there hardly ANY footage of Jim Clark / Lotus in the film? Some sort of clash of contracts between Lotus, Ford and MGM??

#17 Steve Wall

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 22:07

Regarding why there is so little footage of Clark and Lotus in the movie; I believe Steve McQueen was involved in a rival F1 movie and his studio had signed up Lotus & Colin Chapman, and also Brabham.
The movie was going to be called "Day of the Champion" or something, and pre-production had gone quite far before the studio pulled the plug.
Of course McQueen went on to make Le Mans which was his revenge I suppose.

#18 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 22:21

From Graham Hill's "Life at the Limit":

"I had backed John Frankenheimer from the beginning, although for a while another film company had appeared on the scene to make a motor racing picture starring Steve McQueen - it was eventually abandoned because of McQueen's ill-health. Injunctions were fairly flying around as different organisers and circuit owners became involved in signing film contracts with the two film companies. the racing drivers were divided into two camps - Stirling Moss, Jimmy Clark, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Sir John Whitmore elected to go with the Steve McQueen and John Sturgess team; whilst Jo Bonnier, Mike Spence, Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and myself joined John Frankenheimer."

#19 Robbie

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 22:30

Originally posted by 911
Speaking of the movie, Grand Prix, Amazon.com is selling the soundtrack on CD... I used to have the record (well, my parents did) and it was great.


As somebody who is very interested in music I payed quite a lot of attention to the soundtrack during the recent ITV showing of the movie.

Nowadays people seem to think that heavy metal and techo best describes the activity of F1 racing. 'Grand Prix' used a melodic orchestrated piece (with a kind of circular almost merry-go-round theme, no doubt to capture the circularity of the laps) which gave a particular colour to the racing: the racing was not portrayed as aggressive (the way metal etc does), but as poetical: the onesness of man and machine, that kind of stuff!

At first it seemed slightly ridiculous, but I bought the idea by the end.

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#20 Gary C

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 22:34

wasn't the music by Maurice Jarre? Is he BY ANY CHANCE the father of Jean Michel??? just a thought............

#21 Robbie

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 22:41

Originally posted by Gary C
wasn't the music by Maurice Jarre? Is he BY ANY CHANCE the father of Jean Michel??? just a thought............


Absolutely right.

#22 philhitchings

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Posted 05 August 2001 - 22:43

Originally posted by Robbie


As somebody who is very interested in music I payed quite a lot of attention to the soundtrack during the recent ITV showing of the movie.

Nowadays people seem to think that heavy metal and techo best describes the activity of F1 racing. 'Grand Prix' used a melodic orchestrated piece (with a kind of circular almost merry-go-round theme, no doubt to capture the circularity of the laps) which gave a particular colour to the racing: the racing was not portrayed as aggressive (the way metal etc does), but as poetical: the onesness of man and machine, that kind of stuff!

At first it seemed slightly ridiculous, but I bought the idea by the end.


Yes I agree with you entirely Robbie, film score music should add to the narrative not tramle it underfoot (to sell a CD here and there).

The music (for very different reasons) reminds me of the soundtrack to the 1970's film Battle of Britain evocotive and thought provoking, something that extend s the viewers appreciation of the visual footage.

#23 Robbie

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Posted 06 August 2001 - 13:17

Originally posted by philhitchings



The music (for very different reasons) reminds me of the soundtrack to the 1970's film Battle of Britain evocotive and thought provoking, something that extend s the viewers appreciation of the visual footage.


At the risk of mutual back-slapping, let me agree with you! Like the Battle of Britain soundtack, indeed, sometimes the sound of the cars was muted and the only thing we could hear was the music. Very effective.

#24 Gary C

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Posted 08 August 2001 - 14:49

Originally posted by Vitesse2
From Graham Hill's "Life at the Limit":
Injunctions were fairly flying around as different organisers and circuit owners became involved in signing film contracts with the two film companies. the racing drivers were divided into two camps - Stirling Moss, Jimmy Clark, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Sir John Whitmore elected to go with the Steve McQueen and John Sturgess team; whilst Jo Bonnier, Mike Spence, Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and myself joined John Frankenheimer."

Ah, so that explains the absence of Clark / Lotus footage then.

#25 FLB

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Posted 08 August 2001 - 16:24

Originally posted by Gary C

Ah, so that explains the absence of Clark / Lotus footage then.


Except for a short appearance on the Brands grid.

#26 Mr_J

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Posted 09 August 2001 - 19:25

Hey,

Wasn't it Jimmy Clark who said "He's on fire" during the race at Brands Hatch.

I still find it a travesty that Clark wasn't nominated for an Oscar for his performance in that movie!

Regards,

Mr_J

#27 Gary C

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Posted 09 August 2001 - 20:18

I always thought it was Phil Hill???

#28 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 09 August 2001 - 23:04

Yes, it was Phil Hill - who had an actual role in the movie in addition to his duties driving the camera car. All we see of Jim Clark are brief glimpses on the grid.

#29 LB

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 09:55

Wasn't the guy who played Sarte (or it could have been Barlini) unable to drive.

I remember a story about him being dragged round in the camera Truck/car so fast that the footage was unusable.

Does anyone know the full story behind this?

#30 fines

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 12:23

I think it was Chris Amon who drove the camera mock-up car at high speeds to intimidate the "Bandini" actor, who was universally disliked, as it seems.

#31 Martyj

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 15:03

I am a super big fan of this movie, and there are three things I can contribute to this thread:

1) There are TWO edited versions of the film - U.S. Domestic and European. The difference is the European version contains a nude Jessica Walters scene. According the Playboy magazine's "Sex in Cinema 1967," topless scenes inserted into Hollywood productions for selected European markets was all the rage of the late sixties. The issue with this article has a picture of Jessica in this scene (it appears to be the hotel bedroom at Monaco), although, curiously enough, it shows no breast -- but definately more skin.


2) Regarding the soundtrack by Maurice Jarre -- it was among the strong selling points to exhibitors and for publicity. Jarre was "the man of the moment" among film composers. When he was hired to score "Grand Prix," he had just won the Acedemy Award for scoring "Doctor Zivago." If memory serves correct, I think he also did "Lawrence of Arabia." He was on top of the game, so to speak. Sort of like being the current World Champion (if such a thing was earned by film composers)

3) I have an old, battered paperback copy of the "novelization" tie-in to the movie. Some hack writer pounded it out probably over a weekend, based around the script. It delves deeper into the character's backgrounds. It was laughably bad! Most memorable was Scott Stoddard flipping out before Monza about how he really hated his brother Roger - who used to torment him - and how he laughed with glee when Roger was killed in a racing accident.

#32 Steve Wall

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 15:39

LB,

As I remember from the Speedvision Grand Prix special John Frankenheimer said that of the three main characters, only James Garner could drive well enough to be convincing in the movie. Later Garner claimed that he had been able to "keep up" pretty well with some of the professional drivers during the racing sequences.

For close-ups the other actors were in "sleds", i.e. their cars were actually towed around the track with cameras mounted on the front looking back. Again, according to Frankenheimer, this absolutely terrified Montand, the Sarti character, and Bedford who Stoddard.

Trevor

#33 karlcars

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 16:03

Among our photo holdings are quite a few color shots by Max Le Grand taken during the 'Grand Prix' filming. I'm hoping to interest someone in publishing them.

Always was a fan of Jessica Walters -- saw her once in a New York restaurant. Great combination of cool and sexy! :smoking:

#34 MOTORSPORT RESORT

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 17:53

Karl: I'll take you up on the offer of a Book,(call me), and thanks for the e-mail...there's lot's of room for you at the Resort..

Let's get a hold of John..(Mr. GP), and take a look at a Book /DVD combination... I'm real close with Warner Bros. (MGM) and this could be a great "pill" for all the "Grand-Prix" movie children, who are now addicted, and just CAN'T get it out of our system...GIVE THEM MORE!

Peter Schömer
MotorSport Resort
speedy@f1power.com
fax: +(34)-952-765-590

www.f1power.com

#35 Gary C

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 18:58

Hey, Motorsport Resort, that's EXACTLY what I'm doing!!
It's why I started this thread in the first place!
Thanks for that.:(

#36 MOTORSPORT RESORT

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 19:12

I didn't mean to pee pee on your parade,:lol: Tell me what you have?

RACE...WIN... (or) GET OUT OF the WAY!:cool:

But it's nice to think 2 people have the same ideas...:eek:
speedy@f1power.com::smoking:
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#37 Robbie

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 19:15

Originally posted by Gary C
Hey, Motorsport Resort, that's EXACTLY what I'm doing!!
It's why I started this thread in the first place!
Thanks for that.:(


Gary C, don't fold like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#38 Barry Boor

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 21:43

Speaking of different versions of the film, I have been aware since seeing it in the Leicester Square Theatre, or somewhere up London when it first came out, that the t.v. version omits a certain sequence.

It concerns the little fat chap who comes to take one of the ladies to the Monaco race. He gets very little screen time in the t.v. version, but don't I remember a sequence in the original which shows him as a little boy in flashback spying on his mother while she is 'entertaining' a gentleman; and does this not lead to a problem wherein he can only 'perform' to the sound of a racing car engine?

Or am I dreaming again?

#39 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 08:12

For those interested in the movie "Battle of Britain" - the original soundtrack was commissioned from Sir William Walton and had a very refined "Classical" feel to it. However, the producers were not too happy with it and in the end used a new, more martial, soundtrack from Ron Goodwin. Goodwin was "flavour of the month" in those days for big war films as he had also written the soundtrack for "633 Squadron" and some others. Walton's work did make it into the film as background to some scenes but Goodwin's score predominates.

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#40 cts125

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Posted 14 December 2001 - 23:00

Just discovered this while searching for some other info.....did Gary C find anything?



Originally posted by Gary C
A thought struck me the other day while watching 'Grand Prix' (again) on TCM. They shot four Grands Prix during the making of the film, and it's such good quality that I thought that maybe the film company still has the rushes stashed away in a vault somewhere. Now, wouldn't it be a good idea to try & find them & maybe try & re-constitute those races from that footage? You can imagine they must have used between 4-6 cameras at each race, so there would be a few amount of each race (hopefully). Can you imagine having it all on DVD?? I'm talking about the race footage here, forget about the 'film' itself. I've already contacted the VP of Film Preservation at Warner Brothers in Burbank, he reckons they have absolutely no out-takes from the film at all. I've not been put off by that, so am now in the process of contacting John Frankenheimer himself (he just might have sneaked it away & put it in his garage or somewhere, you know what these film people can be like. Did you hear about all that unseen footage that came out of Chaplins' cellar after he died? Tons of stuff no-one had ever seen). What I want to know is, do you think it's a good idea, or shall I just go back to hibernating and forget all about it???



#41 Ivan

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Posted 14 December 2001 - 23:17

Just to add something about the actors
James Garner was approached by some of the drivers to start a racing career in F3 because he had shown a lot of natural talent. Graham really wanted him to try. The other actors couldn't drive a tricycle fast.

#42 Gary C

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Posted 14 December 2001 - 23:56

I'm afraid I have drawn a complete blank on this. I contacted Warner Brothers archive, they say they have no out-takes from the film whatsoever. I also called the Film Directors Guild in New York who gave me John Frankenheimers agent's phone number. I called them & also followed it up with a letter, and have heard nothing form them at all. So there you go! It was worth a try...........

#43 don hodgdon

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Posted 18 December 2001 - 02:58

John and Evans Frankenheimer were clients of mine when I had a photo lab in Los Angeles. He told me that none of the outtakes from "Grand Prix" exist. :(

#44 dbw

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Posted 18 December 2001 - 07:05

flame on!!!! sorry guys, but this film really gags me big time....swoopy overdone score....character actors wayyy over the top...every overblown cliche brought to bear with full force....bad driving by bad actors...really bad acting by good drivers...bad imitations of cool cars...a giant throbbing maudlin mass of goo.i laughed,i cried.i turned it off....."le mans"...a bit higher on the evolutionary scale...and best of all we get motormouth garner replaced with monosylabic steve.how cool is that? :wave:

#45 Gary C

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Posted 08 July 2002 - 21:49

I go away for a weekend's motor racing and look what happens. RIP Mr.Frankenheimer, and thank you.

#46 David M. Kane

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 00:22

Gary what a fantastic idea. I would "kill" for those videos and/or DVDs.
I recently met two hollywood types and I will ask them what they know and how to pursue this footage.

#47 Gary C

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 00:35

the trouble is, Dave, we still have top find the film in the first place! Especially difficult now that the director is no longer with us.

#48 Dave Ware

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Posted 09 July 2002 - 16:19

There was a program on the unmentionalbe U.S. cable station about the making of "Grand Prix." Garner and Frankenheimer were interviewed. Garner said that he went out at Monaco in one of their F3 mock-ups, with I think Rindt in another F3 mock-up car, and Garner held his own quite well against Rindt. At least according to Garner.

Also, Frankenheimer was allowed to drive a Ferrari F1 at Monza. Enzo had been against the film until he saw some rushes, or whatever, and realized it was going to be a good quality film. After that he was behind it 100%.

Dave

#49 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 15 July 2002 - 23:58

Gary C,

It would be tragic if all that footage was lost. It may have seemed like nothing of value back in the late sixties, but now it represents a potential record of one of the most interesting season in Grand Prix history (when there was very little footage of any kind available).

The same applies to "Le Mans". They had a camera car that I understand filmed all 24 hours of the race (front and rear view). Yet mere seconds of that footage was used in the finished movie. (Why they used so much of the staged in-car footage, which never seems to be at real racing speeds is beyond me.) And there must be similar quantities of external shots of the real race from every angle.

Where is it now?

Bob Mackenzie

#50 Gary C

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Posted 16 July 2002 - 00:54

The camera car at Le mans only shot little pieces of the race. By little pieces I mean they were restricted by the amount of film you could fit in the camera!! The drivers were instructed to switch on the cameras when they were just about to be overtaken or if they were overtaking another car etc. For more info on this film, see Michael Keysers 'A French Kiss With Death', a real interesting read.