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Author Topic: Le Mans (1971)  (Read 1759 times)
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« on: November 05, 2008, 02:26:45 PM »

Filmed in documentary-style, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 kilometers of cordoned country road. Every few hours the two drivers per car alternate - but it's still a challenge for concentration and material. In the focus is the duel between the German Erich Stahler (Siegfried Rauch) in Ferrari 512LM and the American Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) in Gulf Team Porsche 917. Delaney is under extraordinary pressure, because the year before he caused a severe accident, in which his friend Lisa's (Elga Andersen) husband was killed.

"Le Mans" is the ultimate racing flick. It's the most authentic racing film out there and stars in arguably the coolest actor of all-time in Steve McQueen . As most of you know, one of Steve McQueen's passions in life was racing. This was a dream project for him and I'm thankful thank he got it made. The action here is superb and realistic. It's pure racing action.

The film has minimal dialogue and it plays out almost entirely in documentary style. We don't here any uttering of words for the first 45 minutes of the film, yet there's not a boring moment in my opinion. If you're a racing fan, or at least a Steve McQueen fan, this is the film for you.

One word describing this trailer...AWESOME!: I get the chills watching this! God I love McQueen!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls08-F6I5Ss


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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 05:11:32 PM »

I like this film, but it's not for everyone. It sure beats a soap opera like Grand Prix, though.

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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 05:26:49 PM »

I like this film, but it's not for everyone. It sure beats a soap opera like Grand Prix, though.

I would agree that it's not for everyone. A lot of people are turned off by it at first because they're not aware that it's a documentary type film with minmial dialogue. I love the way it was shot personally. In the end, it really is a film for that pure racing fan overall but I think any Steve McQueen fan will find something in it to like if I had to guess.

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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 05:28:28 PM »

Yeah, I agree,  if you are into true Steve-ness it can be quite a ride.

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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2016, 11:49:09 AM »

I like this film, but it's not for everyone. It sure beats a soap opera like Grand Prix, though.
If you take the soap-opera out of Grand-Prix, it is really well filmed. Saul Bass's contribution was also phenomenal

"Le Mans" is a great example of a film that makes the best use of the medium in which it exists. It is as far away as you can get from a novel or a theatrical production. By the way, has anyone seen this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaWhhpS8Leo

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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 06:38:39 AM »

Not yet, but I'm ordering it today.

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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2016, 08:34:14 PM »

Turns out it is available on Amazon Prime in the US. I managed to eek out some time to watch it (felt good to make use of my subscription beyond free shipping).

The title "The Man & Le Mans" is brilliant.

All in all it was a very enjoyable doc that reminded just what a great and previously underrated film "Le Mans" is. The new behind-the-scenes footage and audio of McQueen was great to see/hear. My only major criticism was the same one I have for most docs since Kapardia broke the mold with "Senna" and then "Amy": get rid of the talking heads and just have their audio over compelling footage. Perhaps in this case there wasn't enough McQueen / Le Mans footage to do this, but even well-known clips from the film tied to the narrative would have been preferable to seeing a head in front of a blank background... A talking head is no better than just giving me something to read myself.

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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2016, 11:18:48 PM »

I far prefer Grand Prix to Le Mans.

I should point out that I saw Grand Prix in a beautiful print on TCM. I saw Le Mans on Fox Movie Channel, very poor image quality.  So, no doubt, that may have influenced my feelings, somewhat or a lot. Huh

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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2016, 09:50:03 AM »

I far prefer Grand Prix to Le Mans.

I should point out that I saw Grand Prix in a beautiful print on TCM. I saw Le Mans on Fox Movie Channel, very poor image quality.  So, no doubt, that may have influenced my feelings, somewhat or a lot. Huh

I love both of them. Saul Bass was clearly a great influence on Grand Prix.

You should watch Le Mans on Blu-ray. It's a great experience.

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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 08:14:07 AM »

My only major criticism was the same one I have for most docs since Kapardia broke the mold with "Senna" and then "Amy": get rid of the talking heads and just have their audio over compelling footage. Perhaps in this case there wasn't enough McQueen / Le Mans footage to do this, but even well-known clips from the film tied to the narrative would have been preferable to seeing a head in front of a blank background... A talking head is no better than just giving me something to read myself.
Yes.

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