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Old 16 Apr 2003, 02:17 (Ref:570699)   #1
Fish_Flake
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Good Racing Movies

It's been a long night, and while I was flipping through the channels I saw that one of the HBO channels was showing Driven, the biggest excuse of a film that has ever been made. Bad acting, bad script, bad cinematography, bad score, and the most unrealistic portrayal of a sport of all time, short of those monkey playing sports movies.

After watching this, as well as Grand Prix (which Driven shamelessly copies) a week ago during a "best of James Garner" day on some classic movie channel, I want to know what it would take to make a decent movie on racing, one where the director doesn't put in some ridiculous computer-generated crash sequences that would decapitate someone in real life every thirty seconds, or whose editors' shoddy cut-and-paste methods overlook some obvious errors (I still remember that scene in Days of Thunder where the caption says "Rockingham, N.C.," but the wall in the background clearly says "Daytona USA"), one that does not contain a ludicrous street race scene (it will be a cold day in the Sahara when I see Bill Elliott and Tony Stewart dragging down the 400 toward Atlanta), and one that doesn't concentrate so heavily on a love triangle between the two rival drivers and some big-chested blonde model.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 03:49 (Ref:570734)   #2
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Aside from Grand Prix, I'd say... McQueen's "LeMans" is borderline, the stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor it better than what made it to theaters!

"On Any Sunday" is a masterpiece, even if you're not really into bikes.

Best I've found is that Mario Andretti IMAX film. No plot, just sit back, watch and listen.

I honestly don't think motorsport and narrative movies are compatible. Any plot will look boring compared to the drama of the racing, and in the end, said plot is completely secondary to the racing sequences.

The best thing I can think to do? Pick one driver and follow him from preseason testing, to the end of the season, shooting on film for that great look you just don't get from video.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 04:08 (Ref:570740)   #3
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McQueen's "LeMans" is borderline, the stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor it better than what made it to theaters!
You're probably right. Le Mans suffered from being too slow. I nearly lost it when it took three minutes just to wave the damn flag!

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"On Any Sunday" is a masterpiece, even if you're not really into bikes.
Once again, right, but it's a documentary. Unless it involves John Facenda preaching about "the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field," and that music that goes DA, duh-duh DA, duh-duh DA, doh doh doh, and the closeup of the the perfect Bart Starr pass spiraling in super-slow motion, and the shot of Ray Neitshke in an overcoat with that toothless snarl, and Vince Lombardi cussing like a sailor at his secondary, and the silhouette of Tom Landry standing in the tunnel with his trademark fedora atop his head, I don't enjoy very many documentaries.

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I honestly don't think motorsport and narrative movies are compatible. Any plot will look boring compared to the drama of the racing, and in the end, said plot is completely secondary to the racing sequences.
I don't think that's quite true. That's the case with any sport, and there have been plenty of great sports movies. I think it's more of a case of a stale, uninteresting script and poor character development than it is with the plot itself.

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The best thing I can think to do? Pick one driver and follow him from preseason testing, to the end of the season, shooting on film for that great look you just don't get from video.
Sounds all right, but it's still a documentary, and it would have to be really in-depth to keep me interested. Dead on about the film, though. Gets that professional look you can't get from video.

Last edited by Fish_Flake; 16 Apr 2003 at 04:09.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 05:33 (Ref:570762)   #4
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Originally posted by Fish_Flake
You're probably right. Le Mans suffered from being too slow. I nearly lost it when it took three minutes just to wave the damn flag!



As a Le Mans and Le Mans devotee, I disagree. I think its a great film (for Le Mans fans.....).

Those who stand on the tribunes year after year at 3.50 p.m. on the Saturday afternoon can sympathise with that beating heart.......
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 06:39 (Ref:570796)   #5
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Sorry guys. I don't have much good news about the prospects of a good racing movie.

LeMans almost killed Steve McQueen's career (even though it ended up making a profit in the end)it has some great racing sequences but virtually nil "entertainment" value for non-anoraks (I love it BTW). And yes, heaps of footage ended up being cut - imagine if it was still around somewhere...film stock probably dead by now

On Any Sunday was a documentary (produced by Steve McQueen, BTW) thus not a "movie" in the traditional sense of things. Would like to se a modern equivalent though - for F1.

Haven't seen Grand Prix (James Garner) for many years, but it didn't have much of an effect on me when I did see it(although it did predate the formation of the Jordan team by about 3 decades!)

Paul Newman made a racing film called Winning, but haven't seen it - any reports?

Driven - um, drivel would have been a better title...

Days of Thunder is probably the closest so far to a realistic but entertaining to the masses racing movie (and we all know how crappy it was).

So lots of trys, but no successes.

Maybe some movie mogul should re-make Speed Racer as a live action or fully digital film. I'd go see it

Go Speed Racer,

Go Speed Racer,

Go Speed Racer,

Gooooo
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 07:10 (Ref:570806)   #6
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Originally posted by GTV27

And yes, heaps of footage ended up being cut - imagine if it was still around somewhere...film stock probably dead by now

I believe some of the footage survives (if you read A French Kiss with Death), but whether we'll ever see it is a different question......

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Haven't seen Grand Prix (James Garner) for many years, but it didn't have much of an effect on me when I did see it(although it did predate the formation of the Jordan team by about 3 decades!)

I still have Grand Prix on tape. It was one of the first things I ever video'd off the TV. So that makes my copy about 20 years old. As a huge GPL fan, seeing cars from this era (the proper racing footage, that is) is still pretty inspiring. Makes you realise just what we're missing with modern-day F1.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 08:41 (Ref:570859)   #7
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I think Le Mans and Grand Prix are the two greatest films revolving around racing.

I've yet to see it, but I've also heard good things about Paul Newman's Winning.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 13:52 (Ref:571165)   #8
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Good racing movie? Does not compute.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 14:20 (Ref:571189)   #9
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Originally posted by Aysedasi
I believe some of the footage survives (if you read A French Kiss with Death), but whether we'll ever see it is a different question......
From the same book, there's a mention in the beginning of a movie with a blind driver who has help from somebody running to each corner and yelling to him when to turn I would love to see that for the comedy value alone. Not at home at the moment so I don't know the name of it.

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Originally posted by Fish_Flake
Unless it involves John Facenda preaching about "the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field," and that music that goes DA, duh-duh DA, duh-duh DA, doh doh doh, and the closeup of the the perfect Bart Starr pass spiraling in super-slow motion, and the shot of Ray Neitshke in an overcoat with that toothless snarl, and Vince Lombardi cussing like a sailor at his secondary, and the silhouette of Tom Landry standing in the tunnel with his trademark fedora atop his head, I don't enjoy very many documentaries.
God I love those NFL Films! I always wished somebody would produce a racing film done in a similiar way. Motor-racing for me emcompasses the same kind a drama.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 16:12 (Ref:571277)   #10
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We really need antoher film. Le Mans is probably the most romantic race to base it off. It wouldn't necessarily have to be about a driver, it could be the story of a fan, reliving the drama of a race, or something like that. We don't want huge crashes, or dramatic gung ho commentry as in Driven, we want pure racing.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 16:32 (Ref:571303)   #11
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Le Mans, it has to be it was on TV here in the UK about 12 months ago. I was still at uni at the time and my housemates where told to go out and not comeback until it had finished, which they did. Roll on June when it comes out on DVD.
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 16:37 (Ref:571306)   #12
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Paul Newman made a racing film called Winning, but haven't seen it - any reports?
I caught the last hour of it not too long. Paul Newman is a famous Indy driver, Robert Wagner is his chief rival, Newman doesn't spend enough time with his family, Wagner might have been having an affair with Newman's wife, all this during Speed Weeks, and so on. Good racing scenes (for what I saw).
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 17:46 (Ref:571371)   #13
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Roll on June when it comes out on DVD.
European PAL version? It was about a time!!
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 19:25 (Ref:571474)   #14
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Was there a planned film on the life of Enzo Ferrari? I remember Brock Yates saying something about it at one time?

It was really funny seeing some of the drivers trying to act in Grand Prix. Graham Hill is my favorite example. A great racer indeed! Now his acting skills, well that is another story....

What both Grand Prix and Le Mans have in common is the nearly unlimited access they had to tracks and other facilities. Also the people behind them where racing purists, who did not sacrifice quality to save money. When Grand Prix was on Speed Chennel as while back, they had a behind the secenes of the movie talking to James Gardner, and the late John Franconheimer. Sadly I doubt any movies such as Grand Prix, Le Mans, or ever Winning will ever be made again....
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Old 16 Apr 2003, 19:46 (Ref:571492)   #15
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European PAL version? It was about a time!!
Yes, the US version comes out anytime now and the PAL version comes out in June, you can pre-order it here http://dvdworld.co.uk/product_body.asp?pf%5FID=69666
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