Racing Movie Project: Le Mans

Le MansMovie: Le Mans

Year: 1971

Starring: Steve McQueen and a bunch of other people

Plot: Steve McQueen drives the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Rating: ⚐⚐⚐ (out of 5)

My thoughts: I’d always heard that there was no plot in Le Mans, but I had to see it for myself. OK, guys, you were right. There really is none. It takes 38 minutes until we hear a line of dialogue from one of the “leads” — I made a point of noting the time.

What saves this movie and what made me give Le Mans three flags was the racing footage. Of course, filming your movie during the 24 Hours of Le Mans never hurts the authenticity. Like Grand Prix, it was fun to watch pure racing footage, not something generated through CGI. And again, the old cars were fantastic. By filming race weekend, the movie also was able to capture the spectacle that is Le Mans, including the thousands of fans that flock there.

At the end of the day, this movie was a tale as old as time — Ferrari v. Porsche. This time, it’s Porsche that takes the top two places and Ferrari finishes third.

I decided to call the “female lead” in this movie “the Black Widow of Le Mans.” Her husband died in the previous year’s race and her “friend” was seriously injured in this year’s race. If I were Steve McQueen, I’d run the other way from her.

Here’s a question — is time for a new version of Le Mans? Maybe one with a plot? Would you tell the story in present day or from some other racing era? Who would you cast in the movie?

Next week: A change in schedule, thanks to travel and my Nextflix queue. Next week I’ll be talking about Heart Like a Wheel. Because it is almost time for the start of the NHRA season!

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