6.8/10
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Le Mans (1971)

Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Erich Stahler
...
Lisa Belgetti
...
David Townsend
Fred Haltiner ...
Johann Ritter
...
Claude Aurac
Christopher Waite ...
Larry Wilson
...
Mrs. Anna Ritter
Angelo Infanti ...
Lugo Abratte
Jean-Claude Bercq ...
Paul-Jacques Dion
Michele Scalera ...
Vito Scaliso
Gino Cassani ...
Loretto Fuselli
Alfred Bell ...
Tommy Hopkins
Carlo Cecchi ...
Paolo Scadenza
Richard Rüdiger ...
Bruno Frohm
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Storyline

Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 kilometers of cordoned country road. Every few hours the two drivers per car alternate - but it's still a challenge for concentration and material. In the focus is the duel between the German Stahler in Ferrari 512LM and the American Delaney in Gulf Team Porsche 917. Delaney is under extraordinary pressure, because the year before he caused a severe accident, in which his friend Lisa's husband was killed. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

race | driver | team | driving | car | See All (185) »

Taglines:

A Story of Heroes See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

23 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las 24 horas de Le Mans  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$7,573,797 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve McQueen had wanted to employ Christopher Chapman's new multi-dynamic image technique in the film, as had been done at his instigation with The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), in which he starred in 1968. Chapman advised against it, much to McQueen's disappointment; in Chapman's words, "it was much too big a film, with too many writers; it wouldn't work that way." See more »

Goofs

In the scene describing the accident involving Delaney and Belgetti, the man talking with Belgetti's wife speaks Italian but pronounces her name with a hard "g", as an English-speaking person would. See more »

Quotes

David Townsend: Michael, I want you to drive flat out. I want Porsche to win Le Mans.
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Connections

Referenced in Pawn Stars: Chords, Swords and Rewards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Finale
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

 
Still the most authentic motor racing movie ever made
7 February 2001 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

One of my Christmas presents last year was a copy of Michael Keyser's book "A French Kiss With Death" about the making of this movie (I had to drop a BIG hint!). Having just finished the book I watched the movie again with a much greater understanding of how it came to be made and the problems which plagued its production.

It is probably extremely rare for a major feature film to have absolutely no script - not even an outline - and no female lead after two months of shooting, but that was indicative of the sort of movie McQueen was determined to make. The race IS the story, and the story of the race is very well told. McQueen's racing experience, his need to have credibility within the racing world and the large number of real racing drivers and real racing cars involved all add up to an authenticity which exceeded that of Frankenheimer's "Grand Prix" and which is still unequalled. A couple of minor errors in the cars' paint jobs fail to dampen the reality of the on-track action.

It is true that the off-track storyline is a little weak, and some of the performances are a bit hammy, but McQueen absolutely nailed the "feel" of the Le Mans race. For this reason it is many race fans' favourite movie. It's certainly mine .


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