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Real racing footage in "Grand Prix"?

Discussion in 'F1' started by tifosi12, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I believe that the movie "Grand Prix" is using footage of real F1 and/or F2 races from that era. Can anybody confirm/deny this and possibly point out from what races they were?
     
  2. aawil

    aawil Formula 3

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    They were shooting footage at the actual races.Speedvision had a making of special quite a while back.As I recall Enzo didn't care for the movie idea until they showed him some of the footage they took.It's been a while since I saw that so my memory is a little fuzzy.I wish they would release a dvd of this movie though.
     
  3. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
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    There were camera cars running in some of the races that season. Several years ago Speedvision ran a "Director's Cut" of the movie with commentary from John Frankenheimer. I have a VHS of the show, but I haven't watched it in quite a while.
     
  4. Il'inglese

    Il'inglese Karting

    Dec 6, 2003
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    Every time we get back from the track (DE events) we all get together and watch that film. The overhead shots of the cars in the rain at Spa are the most beautiful track shots ever taken..
     
  5. bill365

    bill365 F1 Rookie

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    I picked up the DVD of LeMans last night, boy did I enjoy watching it again. It is in letterbox format, great footage........ except the P-car won.
     
  6. bill365

    bill365 F1 Rookie

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    P.S. The LeMans DVD was $14.95 at Border's.
     
  7. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I'm probably the only person on this board, but so be it: For the life of me I can't warm up to "Le Mans". The race footage is fantastic, no question and I enjoy that, but the movie part of this film IMHO sucks completely.

    I read a couple official movie critics reviews and they all hated it and if you read the history of the making of the movie, it was basically a flop nobody wanted to finance/produce. Only McQueen made it possible. I think the only way to enjoy it, is as a racing fan (which is ok).

    Everybody beats up on Stallone's "Drivel", but I thought it contained a whole lot more of a story and acting than "Le Mans".

    (stepping off my soap box now)
     
  8. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    "Grand Prix" includes real race footage from Monaco, Belgium, England, Holland, and Italy during the 1966 season. But there is no genuine "in-car" footage from these races, other than from a camera car following the pack at the start of the Belgium GP. The movie was filmed in Cinerama, and the cameras were HUGE, not the little cigarette packs you see today. Most of the footage is faked using mockup cars.

    "Le Mans" had an actual camera car entered in the race to collect footage, but of course most of the footage there is faked as well.
     
  9. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    What looks like real racing IS real racing from 1966 as previously stated. What looks like acting was done in F2 cars bought and/or rented for special effects the days before and after the actual race.
    What looks like typical movie stuff is just typical movie stuff of coreographing 10-100 people to cut a scene.
     
  10. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

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    Good grief. We disagree on that statement. I literally could not sit through "Driven", I have never seen anything so ridiculous and just plain hokey. Truly awful!

    Gary
     
  11. Ira Schwartz

    Ira Schwartz Formula 3
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    Sorry Andreas, but I've got to agree with Gary here- "Driven" was execrable! In addition to the lame plot (such as it was), from a car guy point of view you have to admit it was absurd. Hell, driving my 348 Challenge car on the street is a bit of a chore, what with the solid suspension bushings, short sidewalls, minimal ground clearance, etc.- can you imagine hijacking a Champ Car or F1 car and firing it up (from behind the wheel no less!) for a joy ride down a public street? What a joke!
     
  12. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

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    The special effects in Driven were absolutely awful. They looked like something from an anime cartoon. I rented this movie and took it back the same night. If I like a movie I rent, I will usually watch it two or three times and then purchase it if I really like it. I could not get Driven back to Blockbuster quick enough.
     
  13. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I hear you guys. As I said, I'm probably the only one on here who doesn't like Le Mans AND liked Driven.

    Ira, you are of course right about the ridiculous thing of racing a car in Chicago. The funniest thing was as they walk away from the cars and no cops arrest them. And yes, you can't fire up a CART without a team etc. etc. All true. I still liked it. Loved how Stallone got into the Zone, the super slow motions.

    True the animation wasn't the best (didn't think it was that bad either) and over the top with the car hanging in mid air in Germany. All true. Still I loved it.

    Le Mans might be a classic (given its reviews, not even sure about that), but boy c'mon, where is the plot? Where is the dialogue? Where is anybody acting? Oops, it's a racing movie. I forgot.

    As I said. I'm probably the only one who thinks like this.
     
  14. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Road and track had an article on the making of Grand Prix.
    I'll see if I can locate it, or maybe their archive?
     
  15. Ira Schwartz

    Ira Schwartz Formula 3
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    I guess it's inevitable that a bunch of car guys would pick apart racing movies- for that same reason, I can't bring myself to watch lawyer flicks (too many absurd departures from reality for me to be able to suspend disbelief). I could live with the lack of a plot or acting chops if these flicks at least bore some relation to reality, but I guess Sly didn't learn too much about racing from his brief stint hanging out with Bernie, et al.
     
  16. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
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    Regarding Grand Prix - I wish I had seen the 'making of' show. A couple of the things I remember reading through the years about the movie:
    - that Yve Montand was a big chicken and could barely stand to have the car he was sitting in - not driving but being towed - go more than about 30mph;
    - that for a promotional event surrounding the 30th anniversary of the movie, Jacques Villenueve was invited to drive one of the original cars (Gurney Eagle maybe?) and after a lap or two got out kind of shaky and expressed amazement that anyone would drive one of these light powerful cars at speed with no downforce.

    Regarding LeMans - thank God for DVDs - start it at about :22 minutes for the race start and watch til McQueen gets out and says 'watch out for the red Lola." Skip dialogue as necessary. Skip all non-racing parts except at 1:24 where the blond is leaning on a brown 365GT2+2 in the rain outside of McQueen's trailer. etc. . . .
     
  17. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

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    Oh my god, Andreas. I'm going to have to put you over my knee for that one. Driven?! That story was horrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible! It's funny how they were able to make a more realistic-looking racing movie 30 years ago than today. I think the fact that, with Le Mans, they barely even had a story is why racing fans enjoy it so much (most of them, anyway). They chose to focus on the racing instead of fluffing it up with BS love stories, triumphs of good over evil, etc.
     
  18. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Well guys, call me a troublemaker. That's ok. I knew I was all alone with that one.

    Bryanp kinda summed it up. As a racing "documentary" I love Le Mans. It shows you the mighty cars battling each other. As a movie, good grief, no! Not even one star. Just plain dull. Ok, try this: Imagine you know nothing about racing and don't care too much about it and watch it then. Ask your girl friend to watch it (and she cannot be a Mc Queen fan) and see what she thinks about it.

    Drivel made at least an attempt at a plot and I thought it did bring some points over in a great way including the fact that we finally had a movie about CART. As much as I like Bernie for other decisions, I think he missed the boat on this one. Imagine Driven with F1 stars.

    Maybe I can blame the MTV age for it. I like fast cuts and when watching Le Mans as well as Grand Prix I always have the feeling I could edit at least 30 minutes out of it. Maybe I'm too fast paced and suffer from ADD.

    Let's wait 30 years and see what the people will think of Driven then. At the same toke I even liked "Days of Thunder". Don't care for NASCAR and the plot was cookie cutter (just like Driven), but at least it had a plot. I still haven't seen the plot in Le Mans.
     
  19. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Well, the Museum of Fine Arts here in Houston had a screening of Lemans on the full size screen.

    It was awesome, even after reading the book on the special effects.
    (Ferrari turns to reskinned Lola just B4 hitting the trees airborne.)

    That's where I bought the book about how the movie was made.
     
  20. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Post #500, just for the hell of it!
     
  21. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Whoa! Why?

    My personal opinion aside, most movie critics hated this flick and don't see much art in it. Well, good for you.

    Speaking of awesome racing footage on big screens: How about the IMAX movie "Speed"? Am I (yet again) alone on this one or not? TOTALLY loved it. And I'm neither a Michael nor Mario Andretti fan. Just thought it was well done, shot in IMAX and had a good a plot as possible (given the IMAX format). Also loved the unique shots of the autoclave. First time I've ever seen movie footage of that. Also the basic difference between a tubular frame chassis vs a monocoque approach.

    PS: I bought one of the IMAX cells in lucite for my collection.
     
  22. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

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    Hey Speedy, how come you got "500" twice?

    In thirty years they're going to look at how ridiculously horrible the special effects in Driven were. Even by today's standards. I did like Days of Thunder. Not sure why, but I think there's something comfortable and easy about movies like that and Top Gun that appeal to guys. The problem with Driven is that it took itself too seriously.
     
  23. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jack, my place with LCD projection and big speakers, a six pack and Drivel and we'll laugh our a_sses of. Deal?
     
  24. aawil

    aawil Formula 3

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    I think the plot and storyline is what i dislike about grand prix.Lemans is more like a documentury with actors i guess.I like Driven for what it's worth. I was hoping it would have been better but it is a racing movie so i can live with the bad plot.
     
  25. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

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    I have to side with Tifosi 12 on this one. I love Le Mans for what it is, but it is not one of the great movies of all time; and I say this even though I saw it a half dozen times while it was in release. Le Mans nearly bankrupt Solar Productions, and Grand Prix has never been mentioned as one of John Frankenheimer's great achievements (although I disagree on that point).

    First run, big budget movies are judged on their commercial success. If you spend 50 million making a movie that grosses only 3 million you won't be in the business long. At one point I heard that you have to gross $3 for every dollar it costs to make a movie just to break even. I don't know if that's true or not, but it gives us an idea of what is at stake.

    In order to attract a large paying audience you need a story people can relate to. People are interested in the human condition. They want to see people they can identify with caught in a struggle or situation that reveals their character. That requires a story line that goes beyond the struggle to win a 24 hour race, otherwise it's a documentary, even if it's a fictional account.

    McQueen, one of our most popular actors, was known for his low-key performances, but in Le Mans he is so low key he could be dead. While working for CART I was struck by the changes that drivers went through as race day neared. A driver who was open and forthcoming on Thursday was locked away in his own personal world and totally unapproachable on Sunday as he focused on the job at hand. Mc Queen tried to portray this intensity, but the story didn't allow him to show the range of emotion a driver goes through over the weekend. Either that or he was so intent on getting the driver's mood right that he forgot the basics of storytelling. In the excellent book A French Kiss with Death they state that McQueen really wanted to impress his friends in the racing biz with the fact that he "got it". In this instance he may have "gotten it" to the point of ruining the film for all but the most ardent race fans.

    It helps to step back and look at other sports films for confirmation. The Natural, The Rookie and Everyone's All-American are about people first and the sport second.

    As for Driven, Stallone, intent on saving his career, tried to re-create his earlier success by draping a different sport around the premise he used so well in Rocky, and he failed miserably. While watching that movie you are struck not by the story, but by this feeble attempt by a panicky movie idol to use over-the-top special effects and implausible plot lines to resurrect his sinking career.
     

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