Le Mans [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France.
A classic auto-racing movie starring Steve McQueen, Le Mans puts the audience in the driver's seat for what is often called the most grueling race in the world. The French auto race Le Mans is a 24-hour affair through the French countryside, a demanding ordeal for any driver. McQueen (Bullitt, The Great Escape) plays the American driver, locked in an intense grudge match with his German counterpart even as he wrestles with the guilt over causing an accident that cost the life of a close friend. McQueen is his usual stoic magnetic self, and the racing sequences are among the best ever committed to film. A solid character-driven story combines with raw visceral power to make Le Mans a rich tapestry of action and thrills. --Robert Lane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The only thing lacking was a story, an afterthought hastily written after the movie was halfway through production. But still, much better than the scripts in more recent films like "Days of Thunder" and "Driven" where we are led to believe an inexperienced rookie (Tom Cruise) and a washed-up has been (Sly Stalone) can roll onto a race track without practice, break the track records, stick quarters to their tires at 160 mph, start CART race cars without starters and race through downtown Chicago at night without lights and not draw the attention of police, and then go out and beat the established champs in the race the next day.
Another old movie like LeMans, "Grand Prix" with James Garner was good. Real tracks like Monaco, real drivers in the background scenes, but the cars were mocked-up Formula 3 cars -not Formula 1, and you could tell. Get LeMans, and get Steve McQueen's "Bullet" for the epic streets of San Frabncisco car chase scene, one of the best chase scene ever (now only recently relegated to 2nd place by the chase scene in "Ronan").
Over a million feet of film were shot during the actual race (a 24-hour endurance marathon that familiar names such as Foyt and Andretti have won), but Hollywood was concerned that, despite Steve McQueen's desire to film the consummate racing movie, there was no script. Indeed, the semblance of a romance thrown in is thin, but again, at least for the purists, the racing sequences make up for the lack of a solid, well-defined plot.
Four stars for the cinematography, two stars for the storyline.
He says (and i'm afraid i have to paraphrase a bit here) "That out there, that's living. Everything else is just waiting."
And that's the truth; for some people, living on the edge -- whatever it may be the edge of -- is the only time they feel truly alive.
The great British driver Stirling Moss's biography is entitled "Everything But my Life". Graham Hill, after retiring and taking a job as a commentator was asked if he missed racing. He replied along the lines of "Twenty-four hours out of most days, I don't miss it at all. But when those engines start up -- I miss it more than anything."
McQueen's film catches this attitude well -- these are men with an obsession, a need to get out there and push themselves and their vehicles to the limits, and beyond.
(Limits? Another Graham Hill story -- he took a car out for practice at the Nurburgring. It was impossible for the car's suspension to allow its belly to touch the roadway. He came back with all the paint rubbed off the bottom of the car.
(A car magazine decided to see how different drivers approached their art; they fitted a gran prix car up with full instrumentation and sent three different drivers out to run hot laps on the same race course. As expected, the profiles of all three varied, some were faster on one corner, some on another -- but two of the three touched the car's theoretical absolute limits in acceleration or cornering force at several points on the lap. The third exceeded them several times...Read more ›
The late 60's/early 70's were such a great time for cars and racing, and this movie captures the essence of that period in motorsports. Actually the cars themselves would not look out of place at all today. But this was a long time ago -- before NASCAR ;-) -- and these cars were not so high-tech as they might look. Racing was far more dangerous then than it is now; drivers were getting killed all the time as I recall (I was 14 when "Le Mans" was released). "Le Mans" really makes you feel what it must have been like to be a racer back then. It is a study of contrast between dull, quiet "real life" outside the race and the vitality, urgency and danger of competition that motivates the drivers.
"Le Mans" is one of the only two good auto racing movies that were ever made. (The other is Grand Prix, which is unfortunately not yet available on DVD.) It is a completely visual movie -- you MUST see the DVD version in widescreen format, with its superior video/audio quality; way too much is lost in the VHS version. The action footage is truly incredible, especially when one considers that this was 1971. If you like cars/racing and movies, "Le Mans" should be in your collection.
Most recent customer reviews
Next best racing film to Grand Prix....brilliant racing shots with killer car sounds. A must buy!Published 3 months ago by R. Patrick
Classic movie. Wonderful racing scenes with the classic Porsche 917 vs. the Ferrari 512SPublished 5 months ago by KPD
Awesome movie, loved it .
very realistic and fast. not the deepest story just one big long race.
If you don't like this movie, I don't know what to say.
The storyline isn't the best of the best but it's not bad either... Although, if you're an amateur of authentic racing sequences, this movie won't disappoint!Published 12 months ago by Bryagh