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I'm afraid she's got a bad case of celluloid


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#1 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 19:47

Motor Racing Films

Hmmmmmmmm

Has anyone ever seen a good one? My experiences range from the godawful Driven, a testement to nonsense and bad acting, the worryingly predictable Days of Thunder and the cinematically stunning but plot flat Grand Prix the Movie. Then again perhaps im just being a snob. What are your views people? Also, which drivers have appeared in films (in Grand Prix its possible to spot to my certain knowledge 3 world champions)? Which movie is the best for vintage footage? And do they all have to feature the obligatory appalling accident that would almost never ever happen?

Any comments, screengrabs, or reviews, would be wonderful luvvie sweetie darlings.

I'm ready for my close-up

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#2 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:33

"To Please A Lady" is pretty good. My favorite scene in all the old movies was the hysterical woman scene where her man has the spectacular horrendous crash and she runs screaming from the grandstand across the track and has to be restrained. Used as often as the shower scene in current movies. Well OK, maybe not that many times!!!

#3 stevew

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:37

"LeMans" is the best...

#4 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:39

The other staple in my view is that all racing driver movie heros have to be chisel jawed bronzed adonises. But then again, casting a Teo Fabi look alike wouldn't really pull in the birds now would it? :lol:

Then again, even I will admit that Francois Cevert was an outstandingly pretty man, and thats not camp, honest.

#5 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:41

Mickey Rooney wasn't all that pretty. But usually you are right, the driver actors are real pretty boys.

#6 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:43

Le Mans, never seen that one, is it the one with Steve McQueen in it? Any good? Has anyone else seen this? And another point, is Scot Stoddard a Jimmy Clark imitation, right down to the hair? It would appear so to me, also fits in with the time frame, Grand Prix was released in 1966, Clark was reigning World Champ. I also happen to know Brian Bedford scard himself to death in shooting when he spun his steed and had to have a rev limiter put on it, he had only passed his test a few weeks before!!

#7 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:44

Mickey Rooney?!?! You are kidding, which film?

#8 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:48

Yes that character was modeled after Clark. The spectator deaths at Spa were modeled after Gurney's crash at Zanvoort where he killed a spectator and made the immortal comment, "This is a cruel sport." The Ferrari driver death at Monza with the American winning the championship was modeled after the Von Trips crash. And the everybody screwing everybody's elses wife plot was modeled after... well too many real life instances to be sure actually.

#9 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:49

Mickey Rooney?!?! You are kidding, which film?

"To Please A Lady"

#10 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:53

Wow, you are a goldmine of information Buford, I had never thought of those similarities before. I was unaware of Gurney's incident at Zandvoort. Always tragic when a spectator dies, in many way more so than a driver. I live in fear of another Le Mans 55. Still this isn't suposed to be a morbid thread so lets be happy happy happy!!

#11 FrankB

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 20:56

And don't forget Fred Astaire (without his dancing shoes) in On the Beach - not a film about motor racing, but quite a long race sequence towards the end

#12 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:01

I was unaware of Gurney's incident at Zandvoort.

Others will have more info probably but I do this from memory. It was 60 or 61 I think and he lost his brakes in a practice run and went off at the end of the long straight and hit a spectator who was not supposed to be where he was.

#13 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:02

Of course, i had forgotten on the beach. Here's an interestign thing to note, that race being the last that was held before humanity died out would have made Fred Astaire nominal World Champion surely? Also it is worth noting that in the novel by Neville it states that 13 drivers suffered fatal injuries in that race, an appalling casualty rate. Stil everyone would have been dead in a few months anyway. I dont advise watching On the Beach if you are depressed , though for tales of nuclear apocolypse you needent look further than the BBC production "Threads" made in the 80's, do no attempt to watch that unless you have the Samaritans number handy!

#14 ensign14

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:05

Originally posted by Buford
Mickey Rooney?!?! You are kidding, which film?

"To Please A Lady"


There is a big article about the film in the Carl Hungness 1984 Indy Yearbook.

#15 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:08

Thanks Ensign

Incidently I red something about Alister MacLeans novel "The Way To Dusty Death" being made into a film somewhere. My view is that this would make an excellent film if enough money was spent on it, can anyone verify this? Im sorry Ive forgotten entirely where I read it. Apperently the people raising the money wanted to keep the early 70's setting, a good ting if you ask me.

#16 anjakub

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:12

Mickey Rooney in "To Please A Lady" (also know as "Red Hot Wheel")?
In this film plays Clark Gable.
Mickey Rooney see - "The Big Wheel"

#17 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:15

Hmmm curioser and curioser. Still hunting for info on Le Mans, anyone seen it? What's the plot and is it any good? The best I have seen is Grand Prix, but that suffers from overlength and quite a contrived plot in my view, or at least not a very interesting one. Anyone gonna argue? Hehe

#18 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:18

Thanks anjakub. You are absolutely correct. I was thinking of "The Big Wheel", not "To Please A Lady". Both are very similar in plot and both are pretty good in their hokey 1930's way. Lots of good vintage racing footage in both.

#19 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:21

Yes LeMans is very good as far as the racing scenes which is most of the movie. Very little plot. Just a lot of staring off into space. David Piper lost a leg filiming some of the race scenes. They took a real Porsche 917 and put it in a rocket launcher thingie to make a crash scene. Definately worth seeing.

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#20 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:22

Actually the 1930's mention just set me off, by far the best thing ive seen about Motor Racing, in terms of Drama was Rowan Atkinson's (he of Mr Bean fame) portrayal of Henry Birkin the Bentley and later Alfa Romeo driver of the 20's and 30's, not much in the way of outstanding racing footage (a dodgy BBC budget accounted for that) but brilliantly told and acted. Enjoyed it loads. Anyone else see it?

#21 birdie

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:27

I read On The Beach and have not been able to sleep without a light on or someone else in the room since

#22 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:28

Ouch poor fella,losing a leg is nasty. its was a Porsche in the film huh? Shame I was hoping for a Ford GT40 without any doubt the most beautiful Sports Car ever built, in Gulf Colours its just perfection, ranks along side the Lotus 49 for me in terms of pure racing GRRRRRRRRRRRR (a technical term that illustrates both grunt and sex appeal, I shal be useing it lots in the future hehe).

#23 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:30

Yup birdie your right
The end of On the Beach is particularly crushing, brings a whole new meaning to taking some pills. Very very sad.

#24 Hitch

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:33

I'm afraid the best films concering motor racing are not those clasic racing films like 'LeMans', 'Grand Prix', 'The Racers',' Days Of Thunder', 'To Please A Lady' (with Clark Gable & Barbara Stanwyck), 'Indianapolis', 'Red Line 7000' and so on, but films that a only touch that theme. My favourite is 'The Killers' by Don Siegel, when John Cassavetes played a down-to-hell racing driver who was persuaded by his girlfriend to drive the getaway car in an assault. Ronald Reagan (I think in his best part ever - except when he was playing the president :p :p :p ) played the 'chief rascal'. In the end all were dead - even the killers, played by Lee Marvin and another one who's name I forgot at the moment. Ever seen that one?!

Another very fine (but no classical racing movie in the original meaning) road-movie is Richard Sarafian's 'Vanishing Point'.

In my eyes the best racing-movie is Howard Hawks' 'Red Line 7000', but I especially like the racing scenes in 'Grand Prix'. You're right, it's very shallow, but these scenes are really terrifying. Never seen the old Spa circuit, but I think this gave a real good impression of that fantastic - but dreadful - circuit. 'LeMans' has some very good scenes too - especially when Steve McQueen crashed - I wonder if they really scraped that Porsche 917 and the Ferrari 512!

Has someone (especially in Germany) ever seen 'Allotria', where the German 'silverarrows' of Mercedes-Benz played a reading role?

Hitch - the race fan!

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#25 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:39

Ouch poor fella,losing a leg is nasty. its was a Porsche in the film huh?

Piper was driving a Ferrari when he crashed and lost a leg. That footage is not in the movie, even if they had any but they mention it in the ending credits, something about sorry about your loss. I don't remember if there are GT40s (also my favorite all time race car) in the movie or not but probably are in the race scenes. Yes they really did trash a real Porsche 917 but I am sure it was stripped down to just the chassis with a dummy engine in it or something. Still quite an expensive scene.

#26 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:41

Thanx Hitch!
Thats a truely great piccy, how do you post pictures that are ony our Hard Disk by the way? I havent seen either of those, but I do remember another terrible peice of trash where Emelio Esteves (is that how you spell it?) anyway Charlie Sheens half brother, is a racing driver involved in a big shunt and obviously transported through time in some convuluted crap twist or soemthing, any idea of this monstrocity's identitiy? Also im sure ive seen a film with Tommie Lee Jones as an oval racer, this sticks out in my mind as there is a scene when a tycoon's family are watching the race on TV and Jones has an appalling shunt, can anyone identify that one for me?

#27 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:44

That was "The Betsy" (with Tommy Lee Jones) and the girl Betsy in the film was Kathleen Beller, who I met at Indy in 1978 when she was promoting the film and we dated for 6 years (a few times a year when we were in the same place). I told that story on the Paddock Club forum once upon a time.

#28 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:49

My god, some people get all the breaks, I once went out with a girl who looked a bit like Liv Tyler, so nyah!!!! Only a bit mind. . . .

#29 Hitch

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:50

Hi Redline!

You need some webspace to put your files on - then you only have to make a link to that site in you 'reply'-window. I borroed some web space from a friend of mine:-)

Here's another interesting story about that 'Grand Prix'-Movie. I remember the problems they had with 'Grand Prix' when they had to disguise F3-cars to F1-cars!!! Or even better: at Brands Hatch no Ferrari was at the start (in real life) but of course in the movie, so they had to disguise Jo Bonnier's private Brabham or Mike Spence's Lotus (am I right - all you out there?!?!?) as Ferrari. Here's the scene. Yves Montand (playing Sarti, the Ferrari driver) and James Garner (playing Pete Aron, the 'Yamura' driver) on the grid. The Ferrari is nothing but a Lotus and the 'Yamura' is one of the first McLaren...

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Hitch - the race fan:-)

#30 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:54

She is now married to Thomas Dolby the rock performer and they have a couple kids. If/when you qualify for the Paddock Club you can do a search there for the details of how it happened that we met. A fairly amuzing story. I did not know who she was or what she was doing there for 1 1/2 hours. I thought she was just another Indy fence hanger (though an incredibly beautiful one). She just wanted to talk about racing and me. Finally I found out who she was and what she was doing there and I was in way too deep to get intimidated by that point since we had already made a date for the next day.

#31 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:54

Another fantastic picture, and thankyou very much for the advice hitch. Still we must thank Yves Montand for one of the best racing quotes ever "There is no terrible way to win, there is only winning", am I right in thinking that this is actually aped from somebody else? Wherever it came from I recently assured its immortality as it was my yearbook quote! Hehe. I also read somewhere Yves Montand despised cars, ironic really.

#32 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:56

Buford, if you dont mind me saying you are one helluva Jammy Spawny Swine hehe, the most attractive thing ive pulled at a race meeting was a gear lever :(

#33 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 21:57

I don't know about that quote, but when he says something like "When I see a bad crash I put my foot down harder, because I know everybody else is lifting his" origianlly was said by Phil Hill.

#34 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:01

Jammy Spawny Swine

I don't know what that means but one of the fringe benifits of being a race driver is the women who are attracted to you who would never have taken a second look at you in real life. I milked it for what it was worth. But most of the time, I did not have time to take up the offers because I was there to race and we had to work on the cars and leave for home, a long way away. But at Indianapolis, I hung around all month trying to get a ride (never did) so there was time for some nookie activities.

#35 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:01

Thought so, thanks for clearing that up Buford, anyone else copped off with movie stars? I once had a dream about Liz Hurley, but she turned into a hippo and I lost interest, I really should stay off the cheese. . .

#36 Hitch

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:03

If Montand despiced cars - why did he played that role (except for money:-). In that movie he was quite weary of his job as well - maybe a good reason. I heard the man he played was an alter ego of Phil Hill? Phil drove some film car in tha movie, too. Here's one of them at the Belgian GP '66 with Phil Hill driving the car.

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Isn't it funny that in two of those great racing movies 'Indianapolis' and 'LeMans' the leading role were played by actors who were real good racing drivers as well?! Paul Newman (just think about his Newmna-Haas-Team) was second a Le Mans and Steve McQueen second at Sebring!!!

Hitch - the race fan:-)

#37 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:03

I do race Buford, I throw my Mini Cooper round as well as the next man and have failed to complete Stage One of the Jim Clark Memorial a staggering 3 times (the first time I didnt even start hehe). This performance may well ahve something to do with my lack of experience of Racing groupies hehe. Shame that. Never mind, always next season. . . has to be better than this one.

#38 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:04

Your right Hitch, and by all accounts James Garner wasn't too shabby either. . .

#39 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:08

Ha - I raced a Mini Cooper too! The first two years and that kicked off a 12 year career. After that I raced for other people and didn't race the Mini anymore. I still have it though.

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#40 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:11

Lovely cars, easy to maintain too.

Must say however mine is a dog, the most frustrating thing ever was losing a 4th place at Brand Hatch when my gear lever simply sheared off in my hand, utterly insane, I think its jinxed, teach me for driving a green car. . . not racing green obviously, horrible lime green.

#41 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:11

played by actors who were real good racing drivers as well?

Actually with Garner and Newman it happened the other way around. Making the movie wetted their appitite for racing. In McQueens case though, he made the movie because he was already a racer.

#42 Hitch

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:11

Yes, I really think Garner like his (racing) job! Of cource he was World champion at last (in the movie).

I think I'm getting trouble scanning all that pics and post them in the same time - my house looks like a junk shop!!! But it's funny talking about (racing cars) and movie's.

Did you know that my great idol Alfred Hitchcock filmed the slowest chase ever in his great film 'Vertigo'???

Hitch - the race fan:-)

#43 Hitch

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:14

That Mini Cooper played a leading role in Peter Collinson's 'Italian Job' from 1969. Ever seen that movie with dozends of Mini Coopers?!?!?

Hitch - the race fan:-)

#44 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:14

No, I didnt know that, I love cinema too actually, recently here in the UK we had the 100 greatest movies of all time which was without doubt the most shambolic travesty ever in the history of the world ever, ever, ever (im calm about it honestly) I mean no mention of Busty Cheerleaders Shag Around 4!!!!!! Surely the greatest film ever, oh and other minor things like the Elephant man not being placed. . .

#45 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:15

Lovely cars, easy to maintain too.

That's for sure. They eat wrenches and sockets and refuse to give them back until you have to pull the engine to fix the oil leak. Then you get all your tools back. Cute little devils though. Girls love them. Brings out the mother instinct in them. Of course in England it would not be a big deal, but in America the girls thought the Mini was adorable.

#46 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:15

Course Ive seen it no self respecting Brit hasn't!!!

YOUR ONLY S'POSED TO BLOW THE BLOODY DOORS OFF!!!!

#47 Buford

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:16

Geez yes - you have to see "The Italian Job".

#48 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:18

To be fair Ive never had too many problems with Frogmella (my Mini), but I am stunned to hear they attract women in the States?!?!?! Comparable to what?!?! Im sure a 69 Chevy is way better hehe. The mothering instinct?

#49 Hitch

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:22

If I remember right the car (Mini) was very much 'in' at that time, when 'The Italian Job' was made. They 'jumped' over some building in Torini/ITA. A very nice movie.

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Another nice road/car/racing movie is John Carpenters 'Christine' about an awful bad car (bad to the bone).

Hitch - the race fan:-)

#50 Redliner

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Posted 06 January 2002 - 22:28

It was famous French Stuntdriver Reme Julien and his team who drove the Mini's in the Italian job, i dont know if you remember the scene in the storm drain, but they originally intended to have a mini roll completely round the inside of the drain instead of just highsiding. There is an outake where Julien almost acheives it but his left front wheel hits a fluted grating in the ceiling and the car just drops out of the air like a stone onto its roof, in a sewer, crazy man.

Another example of this is in the jump you described Hitch, Julien walked up to the edge of the building, looked at the gap turned round and without any hesitation or calculation "Yeh, 50 mph should just make it." Then they went and did it. Apparently the crew were all crying with releif when it worked. :lol: