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Best and worst racing movies


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#151 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:48

I won't express a opinion either way on movies I haven't seen (thereby letting Driven off the hook!). The worst racing movie I've seen has to be Bobby Deerfield.

Jack

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#152 Paul Newby

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:15

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Johnny Dark? I remember it from my teens - Tony Curtis. I forget the love interest - Piper Laurie?


Yes, it was Piper Laurie... :love:

Not so convincing back in her earlier Studio days. But great opposive Paul Newman in the The Hustler and of course she drove a Citroen CX in the Australian movie Tim opposite Mel Gibson... :lol:

I agree that the 1990 film Checkered Flag is the worst racing film I've ever seen. It is cheap and nasty - especially where they try to cut real Indy racing scenes (I bet without authorisation) into the movie scenes. Truly awful... :down:

#153 RA Historian

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 15:14

Originally posted by REDARMYSOJA
Or perhaps use a non-racing movie as the high point ?

In that case I'd go with Lawrence of Arabia , but I'm sure that won't be a consensus either .

Another point on which we agree, Robby! That movie is magnificent....the scope, the scenery, the photography, the sound track, the acting, the epic proportions of the entire motion picture. AFI rated it, what, fourth or fifth best movie of all time, and one could argue that it should be higher.
Tom

#154 Adler

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 00:39

Posted Image

Fangio, el demonio de las pistas (1950)

#155 Adler

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 01:01

Posted Image

Mario Bonnard
I figli non si vendono (1952)


Posted Image

Hans Schweikart
Muß man sich gleich scheiden lassen? (1953)


Posted Image

Henry Hathaway
Le cercle infernal (The Racers) (1955)


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Ivan Govar
Le circuit de minuit (1956)

#156 Peter Morley

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 17:17

I just found this website:

http://www.hondahog.com/

They have a lot of old racing & car films on dvd (look under rare & collectible films).

No idea what they are like but I've just ordered a few.

#157 AlMark

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 19:50

Unless you are not considering documentarys, for me Michael Keyser's "The Speed Merchants" puts all the others to shame.

It is not a racing movie as such, but the racing scenes in A Man and A Woman had the feel of authenticity. Plus in between we had Anouk Aimee to look at.

Grand Prix was great, but some of the tricked up photography sort of annoyed me. I prefer sports cars anyhow.

#158 aaron

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 21:54

Has anyone mentioned "The Green Helmet" with Sid james and the Lister Costin Jag. That car is still running around after many years in Oz having run both 4.2 and 3 litre Jag engines.
"Winning" with Paul Newman and Robert Wagner is mildly interesting thanks to some close ups of Gurney Eagles and because it gave him his start in racing. He got his 100 m.p.h. badge at Indy during the filming and the racing bug got him. Aaron

#159 COUGAR508

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 22:36

Originally posted by AlMark
Unless you are not considering documentarys, for me Michael Keyser's "The Speed Merchants" puts all the others to shame.

It is not a racing movie as such, but the racing scenes in A Man and A Woman had the feel of authenticity. Plus in between we had Anouk Aimee to look at.

Grand Prix was great, but some of the tricked up photography sort of annoyed me. I prefer sports cars anyhow.



I would agree about The Speed Merchants. It is very well produced, and some of the individual scenes in it are very powerful.

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#160 TrackDog

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 02:15

I don't think it's been mentioned here, but one of my favorite racing movies isn't an auto racing movie--it's TEST PILOT from the late '30's with Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable and Myrna Loy. There were some powerful air racing scenes in the middle of the film, and one rather poignant scene in which Spencer Tracy dresses down Myrna Loy when she begins to realize just how dangerous racing can be...he's pointing to an air racer and says something like this..."It isn't safe to fly one of these things! It isn't safe to sit in one of them...it isn't even safe to look at one!" This is the movie that THE CROWD ROARS could have been...it explores the issues of personal relationships in a very dangerous field of endeavour, and it does it better than just about any other racing movie I ever saw. Tracy's character thinks it's irresponsible for Clark Gable's character to have a relationship with Myrna Loy, and the real story is the maturing that Gable's character goes through as he tries to justify his passion for his "trade" with his feelings for his wife.

Myrna Loy said that this film was her favorite of all her performances, and that says a lot for the film, too. I don't know if a DVD is available or not, but it would certainly be worth looking for.



Dan

#161 fer312t

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 04:58

Has anyone mentioned "The Green Helmet" with Sid james and the Lister Costin Jag


Is this film available in any form...I'd really like to see it again...

Also, in case someone has seem this recently - near the start of the film I recall there is clip of a very nasty (obviously real) Sportscar accident at Spa...I was wondering if anyone knew what this was...

#162 FredF1

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 10:17

Originally posted by COUGAR508



I would agree about The Speed Merchants. It is very well produced, and some of the individual scenes in it are very powerful.





The footage of Jo Bonniers team packing up as everyone else carries on with enjoying the race is certainly a lump in the throat moment.

#163 Loren Lundberg

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 15:13

Originally posted by aaron
Has anyone mentioned "The Green Helmet" with Sid james and the Lister Costin Jag. That car is still running around after many years in Oz having run both 4.2 and 3 litre Jag engines.
"Winning" with Paul Newman and Robert Wagner is mildly interesting thanks to some close ups of Gurney Eagles and because it gave him his start in racing. He got his 100 m.p.h. badge at Indy during the filming and the racing bug got him. Aaron


"The Green Helmet" is interesting in that it includes actual footage of the 1960 Sebring and Le Mans races, enough of it so that I spent a wasted six month period trying to determine what the "real" source of the footage was, without success. For the movie itself, let's just say your finger will spend a lot of time on "Fast Forward" - the star fared better when he got to the stage of his life where he kicked Elsa out of camp.

#164 Geoff E

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 22:11

Reconstruction of "The Great Escape" motorcycle jump http://www.timesonli...icle5718912.ece

#165 Der Pate

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:45

Originally posted by Geoff E
Reconstruction of "The Great Escape" motorcycle jump http://www.timesonli...icle5718912.ece


Sure...they simply try it...if this was a professional stunt-driver, he would try the jump on open field...and after watching, that it worked, they would build up the fence...

I know the film for al long time and also the jump...but it didn´t impress me that much...until I read about that "cult" about the jump...but maybe that is, because I´m not so into motorcycling...

#166 wildman

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 19:45

Originally posted by canon1753
Truth in 24 had a good review in Autoweek, and I am looking forward to seeing it. Its by Audi PR and NFL films (who do great work actually).

I might add that it's probably the only racing movie that is currently a FREE download on iTunes (at least in the US). Just watched it on the laptop this morning and it is a spectacular piece of filmmaking.

#167 piperp2

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 20:45

Does any one know of a documentary film about the Le Mans 24hr race that was made in 1972-1974 and introduced by David Essex.

Also does anyone remember and/or know where I could obtain a copy of a film called 'Drive Hard, Drive Fast' Joan Collins was one of the stars, the story was based around a racing driver and it featured a Red Bizzarrini 5300 Stradale and a Yellow Apollo GT.

#168 2Bob

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 21:58

Not maybe a movie as in Hollywood style but last night I watched Eric Bana's 'Love The Beast' which is the true story of his love affair with a 1973/4 Ford Falcon 2 door. He has owned the car for 25 years and restored it twice (last time with 600hp (?) v8 etc etc) and run it in the Targa Tasmania twice. I really enjoyed the film and so did my wife (who is a dedicated movie watcher but not very keen on motor racing). Also a few shots of Porsche racing in Oz.

Recommended for its down to earth look at growing up in Australia as well as how being a car nut car can affect your life.

(For those that don't follow the movies too much Eric Bana was in The Hulk and Black Hawk Down as well as staring in Chopper.)

Available on DVD in Oz, don't know about the rest of the world.

#169 pertti_jarla

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:32

"Bensaa Suonissa" 1969, Finland, directed by Risto Jarva. An anti-auto film about Hillman Imp rally racing and some triangle drama. Some Keimola racing track footage, analyzed in detail here (in Finnish). Some people like this film, I find it very preachy and clumsy. May not be the worst, (the worst racing film ever directed by a Finn was of course Driven), but deserves a mention here. The theme song "Bensaa suonissa" is actually great and I have often sung it in karaoke.

I remember the Citta Violenta (1970) having some racing footage? Bronson made a killing during a race. I wasn't too happy with that film, either.

Edited by pertti_jarla, 22 July 2009 - 12:34.


#170 ddmichael

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 13:02

Yes, Citta Violenta had a sequence in which Charles Bronson kills a playboy Can-Am driver (with good reason it must be said) by shooting the tyre of his car (which starts out as a Chapparal, but mysteriously alters form just before it hits a wall and explodes) - short sequence, but a great film imho.

#171 chdphd

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 14:57

This looks fairly shoddy: Phantom Racer (2009) trailer. It's not really a racing movie as such :D

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320354/

#172 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 09:42

I was reading MotorSport from 1962 and thought for a while that i was reding the 1966 issues, because Jenkinson complained about the silly movie people that disturbed the racing business. From the French GP report: "The tiresome film company who have been playing Grand Prix racing all this season, play-acting in front of the pits while teams have been trying to do some serious work, then tried to do some "fake" racing shots with a camera on the back of Cooper's 4-cylinder car, but it blew up half-way around the lap."
Which film is he talking about? I can't find anything about this film-project. Is there anyone who can help me?

#173 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 11:09

Hmm ... according to The Times (14 Aug 1962) they were American and were also at Aintree on both practice days for the British GP when they "provided some amusement, with action shots being filmed through lightweight cameras strapped to the drivers' helmets."

Can't find anything in Billboard, which is available through Google Books.

I've a vague memory of reading something about this somewhere, but I might be confusing it with the other film which was around at the time of "Grand Prix" and never got finished.

#174 pete53

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 23:38

Does anyone remember a BBC production in the late 60s that was a dramatisation of Moss and Jenkinson preparing for the Mille Miglia. Moss was played by Michael Bryant and Jenks by Ronald Lacey. Apparently Stirling wasn't too keen on the way he was portrayed. I certainly saw it but my memory of it is now very hazy and I wouldn't like to comment on its quality/authenticity.

#175 LittleChris

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 00:59

Does anyone remember a BBC production in the late 60s that was a dramatisation of Moss and Jenkinson preparing for the Mille Miglia. Moss was played by Michael Bryant and Jenks by Ronald Lacey. Apparently Stirling wasn't too keen on the way he was portrayed. I certainly saw it but my memory of it is now very hazy and I wouldn't like to comment on its quality/authenticity.


Pete, try the search facility, this has definitely been discussed before. Possibly a Play for Today ? .

Cheers

Chris

#176 Pullman99

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:29

Does anyone remember a BBC production in the late 60s that was a dramatisation of Moss and Jenkinson preparing for the Mille Miglia. Moss was played by Michael Bryant and Jenks by Ronald Lacey. Apparently Stirling wasn't too keen on the way he was portrayed. I certainly saw it but my memory of it is now very hazy and I wouldn't like to comment on its quality/authenticity.


Definitely a "Play for Today" production called "Mille Miglia". Remember it quite well as I'd just been reading Jenks's account of that 1955 event. There was a little archive footage, but the bulk of the play was a studio set of a hotel room and was centred on the night before 7:22 and was basically a dialogue between Moss and Jenks. There was (I think) some further studio work featuring one of the 300 SLRs. Following transmission, I believe it was Joan Bakewell who interviewed the real Moss and Jenks on "Late Night Line Up" and I do remember Stirling saying that Michael Bryant had portrayed him more as he was today (1968?) than he had been in 1955. Vintage BBC2!


#177 Pullman99

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:47

I agree that the 1990 film Checkered Flag is the worst racing film I've ever seen. It is cheap and nasty - especially where they try to cut real Indy racing scenes (I bet without authorisation) into the movie scenes. Truly awful... :down:


This was a film directed by John Glen who had already made several Bond films by 1990. It was shown on UK television a few years ago. I briefly switched it on and almost immediately turned it off again! Possibly a candidate for the worst film of all time. Ever.

The worst, worst bit for me was a cutaway during a "race" to a road car dash (not even a very good one) that had a "doctored" speedometer reading to 200mph + AND with a mileometer showing something like 60,000 miles on the clock. :rotfl: Truly hilarious. You somehow remember things like that!

Edited by Pullman99, 13 June 2010 - 21:59.


#178 pertti_jarla

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 19:20

Having finally learned about it and watched it, The Last American Hero really is the best film about car racing. The only flaw is that it ends too soon! I would have happily watched another 1,5 hours of racing and tragicomical human relationships. It feels like the great characters of William Smith and Ed Lauter were barely introduced. The Last American Hero really manages to mix top quality drama and entertaining racing scenes into a seamless whole. Perhaps the only film ever to do so.

Still I must admit: Grand Prix, with all its overlong melodramatic romance scenes, is by far my favorite. This cannot be explained with reason.

Edited by pertti_jarla, 13 June 2010 - 19:23.


#179 arttidesco

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 22:02

Thunder in Dixie sounds like an absolute classic with Gary Garbell singing 'Maybe Tomorrow' it must be absolutely unmissable :-)

My favourite is 'Le Mans' I can forgive almost anything to be looking at a couple Porsche 917's and Ferrari 512's for a couple of hours, and it's the only time the official 'works Gulf Porsche Team' won Le Mans :-)

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#180 arttidesco

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 22:10

Does any one know of a documentary film about the Le Mans 24hr race that was made in 1972-1974 and introduced by David Essex.

Also does anyone remember and/or know where I could obtain a copy of a film called 'Drive Hard, Drive Fast' Joan Collins was one of the stars, the story was based around a racing driver and it featured a Red Bizzarrini 5300 Stradale and a Yellow Apollo GT.


Afraid I have no memory of David Essex doing a Le Mans documentary but would love to hear more about it :-)

Drive Hard, Drive Fast details on the link sounds a tad far fetched :-)

#181 jondoe955

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 04:01

This may be old news, but I was watching the old movie Bobby Deerfield - Pacino plays American F1 driving great... I was mostly just FFD thru it, looking at the cars from 76 (not my favorite era for looks!). Just after BD does a Seiko ad, at ~1h 26, the cars are starting up, and there are a bunch of quick cuts. One face sticks out - FBE! Bernie's ugly mug is shown - he's scowling about something. And he has these goofy gold sunglasses on. It has to be him. What was he doing in 76? (we know... plotting to ruin F1) He's just shown for a few seconds, and I had to go back to make sure. Not many notable faces were shown, so he must have had something to do with the movie. Plus, the shot was low, looking up a bit, so you can't tell how short he is. Another sigh that this wasn't just a random shot.

#182 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 04:07

This may be old news, but I was watching the old movie Bobby Deerfield - Pacino plays American F1 driving great... I was mostly just FFD thru it, looking at the cars from 76 (not my favorite era for looks!). Just after BD does a Seiko ad, at ~1h 26, the cars are starting up, and there are a bunch of quick cuts. One face sticks out - FBE! Bernie's ugly mug is shown - he's scowling about something. And he has these goofy gold sunglasses on. It has to be him. What was he doing in 76? (we know... plotting to ruin F1) He's just shown for a few seconds, and I had to go back to make sure. Not many notable faces were shown, so he must have had something to do with the movie. Plus, the shot was low, looking up a bit, so you can't tell how short he is. Another sigh that this wasn't just a random shot.



Wasn't Bernie running Brabham then? As I recall, Deerfield was a Brabham driver.

By the way....worst. racing. movie. ever. :yawnface:

#183 RStock

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 04:51

By the way....worst. racing. movie. ever. :yawnface:


Yep. I never would have to fast-forward through it, I always slept through it. :yawnface:

#184 Marc Sproule

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:44

[quote name='Jack-the-Lad' date='Jun 15 2010, 05:07' post='4417584'

By the way....worst. racing. movie. ever. :yawnface:
[/quote]

Worse than Driven?

I think it's a tie. Both of them insufferable, moronic and otherwise worse than stupid.


#185 David McKinney

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:17

We've done all this before
http://forums.autosp...owtopic=9052

#186 zoff2005

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 16:01

I think this is a very good film. Anyhow it is not a film about racing as such, the main character just happens to be a race driver. It is a film about life and death. The only embarrassing bit is when Pacino does his Mae West (?) imitation!

And why hit continuously on Bernie? Without him F1 would be a paragraph in Monday's newspaper like it used to be and a lot of people in the UK particularly would be out of work.. Bernie has been an enthusiastic part of racing since the 1950's and I think deserves every penny he has earned.

Marcus

#187 Michael Ferner

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 16:46

I think this is a very good film.


Thanks for that! I don't remember that much about the movie, having seen it for the only time about twenty years ago, but I was always puzzled to read the disparaging comments about it. I certainly don't remember it as a waste of celluloid, but I was beginning to question my judgment...

#188 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:03

Bobby Deerfield had me laughing where I think I was supposed to be crying. All a matter of taste. I'm sure there are those who would think some of my favorites are rubbish. All in good fun i hope!

Jack

Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 16 June 2010 - 01:04.


#189 MNRacer

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:41

With the recent passing of the great Dennis Hopper, may I suggest one of his lesser-known films, one of which has become a bit of a cult classic amongst gearheads named "King of the Mountain". Released in 1981, and unfortunately currently not available on dvd (although I have seen bootleg dvd copies available from time to time). The story is loosely based on the actual "canyon racing" that was the rage on southern California's Mulholland Drive back in the late 70's. Hopper steals the show as "Cal" a grizzled, whacked-out, old-school mulholland veteran who has been the "king" for some time. Rising to the challenge is young "Steve" (Harry Hamlin), and as you might expect these two have a big showdown at the films climax. Porsche fans will find ample eye-candy as both "Cal" and "Steve" are wrenches at a SoCal Porsche tuning shop. Steve's car of choice is a 356 porsche roadster with bulging wheel flares and rollbar, while Cal counters with a ratty but undeniably wicked '67 Corvette. The driving sequences aren't bad by hollywood standards...there doesn't appear to be any "sped up" film or rear projection going on. However, the driving involves some overdone drifting and sliding, accompanied by the requisite sawing away at the wheel...not exactly Jackie Stewart smoothness.
You will have to endure a backstory concerning breaking into the recording industry, but that's why we have the fast forward button. Well worth a viewing if you can find a copy.

#190 Michael Ferner

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:36

You will have to endure a backstory concerning breaking into the recording industry...


Well, that bit sounded like the most interesting part of the movie... :rolleyes: ;)

#191 arttidesco

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 08:35

I caught a bit of King of the Mountain on you tube but it's the end so I thought not to link it for those who don't want to see what happens at the end :-)



#192 tinkerwinker

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 19:59

Having seen many of the films mentioned here, I still come to the conclusion that as movies they are all pretty lame, and we tend to like them based on how accurate the racing scenes are, not whether is a well scripted movie. Of course, the main problem, is that real racing is so intrinsically exciting, any movie is just some sort of parody, and can never capture the real excitement of racing. If they'd made a movie with the same ending as the Hamilton - Massa title climax, we all scoff that it was typical Hollywood BS.
As for the Speed Merchants, that's really a documentary, and because it's real, infinitely better than the best of the movies

#193 RA Historian

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 20:12

we tend to like them based on how accurate the racing scenes are, not whether is a well scripted movie.

Which is why I have never understood the apparent consensus about Grand Prix being the best ever racing movie. In that flick the racing scenes are great, and if you had the good fortune to see it in Cinerama, absolutely outstanding. But, and this is a big but, the rest of the movie, the non racing scenes, is absolutely insipid. The plot stinks, the bed hopping is of questionable taste, and the crashes with the over the top reactions are, frankly, embarrassing. So, in my opinion, Grand Prix is just what Tink referenced above. Accurate racing scenes, but no where near a well scripted movie.

Again, just my opinion. I know others who disagree with me on that.

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 16 June 2010 - 20:13.


#194 MNRacer

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 22:07

and if you had the good fortune to see it in Cinerama, absolutely outstanding.

Tom



I did see the Cinerama version, and it truly was a fantastic experience. The magnificent presentation of the racing sequences made the balance of
the plot somewhat acceptable (and Jessica Walter helped as well).



#195 RA Historian

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 23:53

I did see the Cinerama version, and it truly was a fantastic experience. The magnificent presentation of the racing sequences made the balance of
the plot somewhat acceptable (and Jessica Walter helped as well).

:up:

#196 arttidesco

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 00:15

I did see the Cinerama version, and it truly was a fantastic experience. The magnificent presentation of the racing sequences made the balance of
the plot somewhat acceptable (and Jessica Walter helped as well).


er I don't remember any ladies in the film, which car was Jessica driving ?

#197 Frank S

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:45

er I don't remember any ladies in the film, which car was Jessica driving ?


I've forgotten exactly which, but I seem to remember a Garner and a Bedford.

Françoise Hardy, on the other hand, was clearly depicted in one photo in the Grand Prix thread, driving a Brabham. The Brabham.



#198 MNRacer

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:05

er I don't remember any ladies in the film, which car was Jessica driving ?



Well, she did get a ride back to her hotel in a GT350H, that has to count for something. :cool:

#199 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:47

(and Jessica Walter helped as well).



"Why do you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Wear your sunglasses on top of your head. You all do it. It looks ridiculous."

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#200 Jim Thurman

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 03:52

Which is why I have never understood the apparent consensus about Grand Prix being the best ever racing movie. In that flick the racing scenes are great, and if you had the good fortune to see it in Cinerama, absolutely outstanding. But, and this is a big but, the rest of the movie, the non racing scenes, is absolutely insipid. The plot stinks, the bed hopping is of questionable taste, and the crashes with the over the top reactions are, frankly, embarrassing. So, in my opinion, Grand Prix is just what Tink referenced above. Accurate racing scenes, but no where near a well scripted movie.

Again, just my opinion. I know others who disagree with me on that.

Summed up nicely. If one took the photography and Maurice Jarre's score away, what is left?...really, what?

And while we're on Grand Prix, the movie created a cult of Monza banking preservationists who truly believe it was incredibly historic. Why?, because Sarti and Aron raced on it? ;)