Ford vs Ferrari Is Part of a Storied History of Great Racing Films


With Ford vs Ferrari gunning for the Best Picture Oscar, the storied history of the auto-racing movie. Ford vs Ferrari made me recall those 60s/early 70s movies that attempted to make a big screen spectacle of the sport such as Grand Prix (1966), Winning (1969), and Le Mans (1971).

According to James Garner, Steve McQueen was so miffed that his friend had beaten him to it in terms of starring in a racing movie (Grand Prix) it soured their relationship for a time. 

James Garner discusses Steve McQueen and "Grand Prix" - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG


Garner always had his misgivings about McQueen – and also Charles Bronson, both of whom he felt were self-centred to the point of nastiness.
1966’s Grand Prix is felt by many to still be the greatest racing movie of all- time, which would have irked McQueen if he had lived to see its growth in reputation.

Grand Prix - Trailer

All three actors were accomplished drivers (Newman and McQueen both raced professionally), something you don’t see much today in the era of Daniel Craig apparently being unable to work a stick shift.
Al Pacino actually had to learn to drive for 1977’s pretentious mess Bobby Deerfield.

BOBBY DEERFIELD (1977) Theatrical Trailer - Al Pacino, Marthe Keller, Anny Duperey

Steve McQueen was said to have died from the abestos he soaked his protective mask in – although it was also claimed to have been to exposure to the substance when he was in the army.

Le Mans (1971) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]

Looking at the casting of these 60s/70s movies, they tended to include imported stars such as Yves Montand and Toshiro Mifune, also the likes of Robert Wagner, used to cover the paper-thin plotting between the racing action, usually a tortured love story.
Ford vs Ferrari harks back to the older tradition, rather than later pictures such as RushDriven and Days of Thunder. Did you catch FvF? What other great racing films did I leave out?

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Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'