HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
   
 
Newest Articles
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
   
 
  Le Mans Driving Force
Year: 1971
Director: Lee H. Katzin
Stars: Steve McQueen, Siegfried Rauch, Elga Andersen, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Fred Haltiner, Luc Merenda, Christopher Waite, Louise Edlind, Angelo Infanti, Jean-Claude Bercq, Michele Scalera, Gino Cassani, Alfred Bell, Carlo Cecchi, Richard Rüdiger, Hal Hamilton
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) is driving around France in his Porsche, specifically the area where the famed twenty-four hour race Le Mans takes place, wallowing in his memories of competing in it the previous year. Not that those memories are good ones, as he never finished his contest having crashed part of the way through it with the result that one of the other drivers died. He still sees the man's widow, Lisa Belgetti (Elga Andersen), at race meetings and wonders why, not to mention the guilt he feels; however, he is prepared to put this to one side to compete in this year's Le Mans as the need for speed outweighs anything else in his life...

When talking about the greatest racing car movie ever made, and not counting such unofficial events as The Gumball Rally or The Cannonball Run, it appears to boil down to one of two films, made within five years of each other quite a while ago. Nobody rates Days of Thunder or Driven, nobody who knows their way around a racetrack anyway, so Le Mans and Grand Prix seem to be the benchmarks that all others have to live up to, and the debate about which is better will probably rage as long as there are still copies of both to be seen. Steve McQueen wouldn't have any doubt that he'd made the better movie, of course, as this was practically his baby from the inception of the project.

His cantankerous personality tended to sour the experience for everyone involved, seeing off the original director John Sturges and drafting in a television director in his place who presumably would be more likely to do whatever Steve said, but the fans of this have great faith that he knew what he was doing when he implemented his hands on style. That extended to doing his own driving for the race sequences, not that it was obvious as he would be wearing his helmet and facemask, so it could have been any of the professional racers he recruited behind the wheel of his Porsche. For the sake of drama, a plot was conjured up which lost a little of the authentic tone, but this was not a documentary after all.

Nonetheless, when Delaney keeps crossing paths with Lisa, you are led to expect far more fireworks than actually happen, as what the relationship amounts to is a few hushed conversations and meaningful looks, which in itself is significant because McQueen kept his dialogue down to a minimum - he doesn't speak at all for about the first forty minutes of the film. But really the character stuff is a distraction from the driving, and you can tell the star's heart wasn't in those parts where he has to communicate. The result of this is a noticeably icy work, where any emotion is given only to the cars themselves as with little false hysteria, repressed or otherwise, it is the roar of those engines which has our excitement levels rising.

In its way, Le Mans is the 2001: A Space Odyssey of racing movies. Think about it: the hypnotic travelling of great distances, the muted emotions, only the machines allotted any outward expression, and those high speed shots of the drivers in their cockpits as the scenery rushes by in a blur are like the stargate sequence of the Kubrick film, only more grounded in reality. Not even winning the race means as much as reaching that bulleting performance in the vehicles, as if attaining these velocities is enough to send the participants into a higher state of consciousness which they will forever crave when the race is over and they must get back to their ordinary lives. Yes, there are crashes, and those bystanders who observe how dangerous it all is, including wives and girlfriends, but the true driver will not be put off by these things. Only the last segment where it seems Delaney will replace Lisa's late husband in her affections seems a trifle off. Music by Michel Legrand.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3014 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: