American Grand Prix driver Pete Aron is fired by his Jordan-BRM racing team after a crash at Monaco that injures his British teammate, Scott Stoddard. While Stoddard struggles to recover, ...
See full summary »
American Grand Prix driver Pete Aron is fired by his Jordan-BRM racing team after a crash at Monaco that injures his British teammate, Scott Stoddard. While Stoddard struggles to recover, Aron begins to drive for the Japanese Yamura team, and becomes romantically involved with Stoddard's estranged wife. Written by
Damian Penny <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film shows racing taking place on the banked oval section of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy, but in fact the oval section of that racetrack had not been used for the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix since 1961. This section of the track was still used, however, for races involving other classes of cars until 1969. The Monza 1,000 Kilometre, for example, reserved for the Sports, Prototype and Grand Touring categories, used the full 10KM course (including the high-speed banked oval section) from 1965 to 1969. Ironically, the tragic fatal accident in the 1961 Italian Grand Prix (which took the life of German driver Wolfgang Von Trips, and 14 spectators) did not occur in the banked oval section but just prior to the "Parabolic" curve, which is part of the Road Course section of Monza. This road course, with modifications for safety and since the retirement of the banked oval section, has comprised the entire circuit at Monza ever since. See more »
During the Brands Hatch race, Phil Hill and Yamura are watching the action on track from the pit lane. They face the part of the circuit behind the pit lane. Pete Aron's car has developed a fault and Phil Hill shouts, noticing that Aron's car is leaking fuel. The cars continue around the circuit and come onto the pit-straight. Aron's car is now on fire. Phil Hill now proclaims 'it's on fire!' but he is still in the viewpoint that he was before, meaning that he would've been looking in completely the wrong direction and would not have seen the flaming car from that precise point. See more »
[voiceover, during the race at Monza]
Well, none of us like Monza very much. It's so damn fast and they run so close together, it requires fantastic concentration and special skills. Slipstreaming, for instance. At speeds reaching 180 miles an hour, a race car's making a big hole in the air. As the car goes through, the air rushes back into the hole and creates a hell of a draft. And that draft's strong enough to pull a following car along at, oh, 10 miles more than his usual speed. If yours is ...
[...] See more »
It's hard to rate this film. Its got a soap opera plot pasted on to some really fine cinematography, editing, music and racing sequences. The real stars of this film are the cars, the beautiful F1 'cigar' cars of the 60's with their exposed engines and elegant lines. Within a handful of years aerodynamics and advertising would change the look of racing forever. Even the plot hints at the change taking place at the time-- from the gentlemen's league of the 50's to the ravenously commercial and brutally competitive environment that Formula 1 was to become. Frankenheimer followed the tour through a season, to the storied old tracks such as Nurburgring, Spa and Monza (before safety and television considerations changed them to much shorter, less idiosyncratic shadows of their former selves). There are cameos by Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren, Jim Clark and Lorenzo Bandini, names tinged with tragedy in retrospect. Technically this film is quite an achievement. Many of its developments, however, did not really take, such a multiple images, and the splicing of soft music to intense action scenes. The film, then, is not one of great importance in movie history. But there are a lot of racing fans who hold a special, if not top, place for Grand Prix in their lists of favourite films.
56 of 58 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?