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Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by spicedriver, Nov 5, 2018.
Very worthwhile, precursor to Steve McQueen: The Man & le Mans. Thanks for posting.
This "Filming at Speed" looks like a rather sanitized made for TV version seen
through the lenses of Chad McQueen.
"The Man and Le Mans" on the other hand is a not so flattering version of the
episode and while Chad McQueen is also in it, there are also others whom don't
portray McQueen in a favorable light.
I really enjoyed The Man & le Mans watch it if you haven't seen it.
I got a directors cut DVD from Michael Keyser, probably watched it a dozen times or more.
"The Man & Le Mans" is more along the lines of the book "French Kiss of Death" which was
a true accounting of the making of "Le Mans".
The Man & Le Mans
Andretti for one was very critical of McQueen's driving abilities. He was probably a little jealous of the attention. If the movie does have a cult following as stated, count me in. Rush was good too. I didn't really like Grand Prix.
Grand Prix captured a moment in time, it accurately portrayed the F1 scene of the mid-1960's. If I recall Peter Revson's lap times were significantly faster than McQueen's at Sebring. Revvie was a professional near the top of his game and McQueen was a very occasional road racer. To be fair Steve raced with his ankle in a cast from a dirt bike accident.
There was a lot of stick between McQueen, John Frankenheimer and James Garner as McQueen was
in position to be cast in Garner's role and be a part of the production team. They go into this a bit in "The
Man and Le Mans" and McQueen called "Grand Prix" an "example of a director playing with himself in
It can't be overlooked though that Garner was also into racing, more as a team owner of CanAm and
sports car teams in the late 60s and early 70s. He was regularly seen at Sebring during this era as
well. There was some conjecture that the rift between McQueen and Garner started on the set
of "The Great Escape".
But, as McQueen's first wife Neile Adams states in the movie, he was obsessed with creating an
empire so he and partners started Solar Productions with "Le Mans" setting the tone for the company's future. Unfortunately, the production was a train wreck with no script and ultimately McQueen relinquished control of the production as budgets and time went way past projections.
Keyser's "French Kiss of Death" delves much further into McQueen's exploits during the production.
It's a good read and Keyser, who's still around, likes to say "I know where all the skeletons are buried".
A French Kiss With Death
Oh dear, will Keyser ever forgive me?
I don't know. Maybe if you ask nicely.
Merry Christmas to all, just watched the man and Le Mans, and absolutely loved it, specially the second half, magic...
The first time I got to see the movie was summer 1980, I was staying with a family near Dublin Ireland and once I knew it was on that evening I went into every TV shop in Dublin asking if they could record it for me since my hosts did not have a VCR. they all lamely answered we don't do that.
Seeing it was magic, then on French TV again a couple of years later, then after countless viewings, one showing, in a private cinema at a wealthy collector's home in south Florida with a huge screen and fantastic sound made it even more extraordinary.
But one memory stands out, my first meeting with David Piper. Easter 82, 18 years old I went to England to have an intense car week, mostly Ferraris and thanks to Jess Pourret (RIP) I got in touch with David Piper asking if I could see his 512S as I had never seen one and was obsessed with them due to a certain movie. After visiting Ferrari UK in Egham west of London and getting a ride in a black Lusso with number plate LUS 50 (which I spent drying the inside of the windshield as it was not water tight on my side) a taxi took me to his house in Bagshot, Rosedean, and the taxi driver had actually been one of his mechanics, you can't make that stuff up. Even though I was just a kid David hosted me very kindly showing me his 512S in that same garage seen in the video then said come on into the house I want to show you something...he pulled out a VHS tape and slotted it in his VCR. It was bits of the Le Mans movie that were never used: the 917's heading back on public roads to their nightly resting place across a railroad crossing, McQueen on a moped in the pits, footage from the crash that cost Ferrari 4 cars during the actual 1970 LM 24h around 18h on the saturday at Maison blanche....I have suggested to him a thousand times he get this out there but he does not seem bothered. A wonderful character, it is always a truly special occasion to meet him and listen. He is most generous in sharing his memories.
The movie was for us car enthusiasts never mind the lame general public and thank you Mr McQ, you really delivered against all odds.
It is sad that what went on cost you your passion for racing but you lived it well and gave it the most beautiful tribute and for that we will be forever grateful.
Guess what I am watching late tonight
Enjoy your Christmas everyone!