IMDb > Le Mans (1971)
Le Mans
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Le Mans (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
23 June 1971 (USA) See more »
Steve McQueen takes you for a drive in the country. The country is France. The drive is at 200 MPH!
Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. See more »
User Reviews:
Les 24 Heures See more (64 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Steve McQueen ... Michael Delaney
Siegfried Rauch ... Erich Stahler
Elga Andersen ... Lisa Belgetti
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ... David Townsend
Fred Haltiner ... Johann Ritter

Luc Merenda ... Claude Aurac
Christopher Waite ... Larry Wilson
Louise Edlind ... 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
Hal Hamilton ... Chris Barnett
Jonathan Williams ... Jonathan Burton
Peter Parten ... Peter Wiese
Conrad Pringle ... Tony Elkins
Erich Glavitza ... Josef Hauser
Peter Huber ... Max Kummel
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jocelyne Jeanssen ... (uncredited)
Karine Lafabrie ... Second Reporter (uncredited)
Jacques Mayar ... Third Reporter (uncredited)
Alan Rossett ... First Reporter (uncredited)
Nathalie Vernier ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Lee H. Katzin 
Writing credits
Harry Kleiner 

Produced by
Alan Levine .... associate producer
Jack N. Reddish .... producer
Robert E. Relyea .... executive producer
Original Music by
Michel Legrand 
Cinematography by
René Guissart Jr. 
Robert B. Hauser 
Film Editing by
Ghislaine Desjonquères 
Donald W. Ernst 
John Woodcock  (as John M. Woodcock)
Catherine Kelber (uncredited)
Ferris Webster (chief editor) (uncredited)
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
Production Design by
Phil Abramson 
Costume Design by
Phil Abramson 
Ray Summers 
Makeup Department
Emile LaVigne .... makeup supervisor
Marie-France Seyrat .... hair stylist
Christiane Sauvage .... makeup assistant (uncredited)
Production Management
Hubert Fröhlich .... production manager (as Hubert Foehlich)
Robert L. Rosen .... executive in charge of production
Peter Samuelson .... assistant production manager
René Noel .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gus Agosti .... first assistant director
Louis Pitzele .... first assistant director: second unit
Jack N. Reddish .... second unit director
Les Sheldon .... assistant director
Michel Cheyko .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Christian Fuin .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Mark Kasdan .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Peter Samuelson .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Nikita Knatz .... visual designer
Donald B. Nunley .... property master (as Don Nunley)
Pierre Barbet .... leadman (uncredited)
Pierre Barbet .... set dresser (uncredited)
Henri Berger .... set dresser (uncredited)
Henri Berger .... swing man (uncredited)
Raymond Cormier .... production buyer (uncredited)
Enrico Corti .... props (uncredited)
Leo Dal Paos .... constructor (uncredited)
Gerard Davy .... constructor (uncredited)
Giuseppe Del Paos .... head constructor (uncredited)
Max Delor .... local help set dresser (uncredited)
Victor Feuz .... constructor (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
Francois Langevin .... local help set dresser (uncredited)
Yves Lequenne .... stand-by painter (uncredited)
Jac Stulberg .... apprentice (uncredited)
Sound Department
David Dockendorf .... sound re-recording mixer
Jack A. Finlay .... supervising sound editor (as Jack)
John W. Mitchell .... sound mixer
Jim Bullock .... sound editor (uncredited)
Michel Desrois .... boom operator (uncredited)
Harrik Maury .... sound maintenance (uncredited)
Michel Maïofis .... sound assistant (uncredited)
Richard Oswald .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Keith Pamplin .... boom operator (uncredited)
Michèle Robert-Lauliac .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Sass Bedig .... special effects
Jacques Beranger .... special effects (uncredited)
Roland Gautherin .... special effects (uncredited)
Georges Iaconelli .... special effects (uncredited)
Malcolm King .... remote control operator (uncredited)
Alfred Staeger .... special effects (uncredited)
Willy Trampenau .... special effects (uncredited)
Daniel Tuffery .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
René Astarie .... key grip
Alex Barbey .... camera operator
Michel Bouyer .... camera operator
Christian de Cortanze .... camera operator
André Marc Delourmel .... still photographer
Elie Fontanille .... gaffer
Claude Mousset .... camera operator
Gaylin P. Schultz .... camera mounts (as Gaylin Schultz)
Mel Traxel .... still photographer
François About .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Pierre Abraham .... electrician (uncredited)
Yves Agostini .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Pierre Brard .... focus puller (uncredited)
Maurice Brivady .... grip (uncredited)
Serge Cry .... electrician (uncredited)
Heinz Feldhaus .... camera engineer (uncredited)
Marc Fontanilles .... electrician (uncredited)
Christian Gallegos .... camp electrician (uncredited)
Lothar Hohlfeld .... focus puller (uncredited)
Leon Letteron .... grip (uncredited)
André Marquette .... camera loader (uncredited)
Marcel Moncel .... generator operator (uncredited)
Georg Ostler .... focus puller (uncredited)
Roger Parlebas .... electrician (uncredited)
Ronnie Fox Rogers .... camera operator (uncredited)
Jean Strasser .... grip (uncredited)
Michel Thiphaine .... electrician (uncredited)
Roger Wingel .... electrician (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Andree Astarie .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Henry Hoogsteyns .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Shelly Levine .... costumer: men (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Pauline Leroy .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Gene Feldman .... supervising music editor
Michel Legrand .... musical director (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Han Akersloot .... driver: racing cars
Richard Attwood .... driver: racing cars
Claude Ballot-Lena .... driver: racing cars
Christian Baron .... driver: racing cars
Jurgen Barth .... driver: racing cars
Derek Bell .... driver: racing cars
Edgar Berney .... driver: racing cars
Paul Blancpain .... driver: racing cars
Arthur Blank .... driver: racing cars
Jean Pierre Bordin .... driver: racing cars
Guy Chasseuil .... driver: racing cars
Andre de Cortanze .... driver: racing cars
Hugues de Fierlant .... driver: racing cars
Vic Elford .... driver: racing cars
Nanni Galli .... driver: racing cars
Erich Glavitza .... driver: racing cars
Masten Gregory .... driver: racing cars
Pierre Greub .... driver: racing cars
Jean Pierre Hanrioud .... driver: racing cars
René Herzog .... driver: racing cars
Toine Hezemans .... driver: racing cars
Peter Huber .... driver: racing cars
Jacky Ickx .... driver: racing cars
Jean-Pierre Jabouille .... driver: racing cars
Helmut Kelleners .... driver: racing cars
Gerard Larrousse .... driver: racing cars
Herbert Linge .... driver: racing cars
Steve McQueen .... driver: racing cars
John Miles .... driver: racing cars
Silvio Moser .... driver: racing cars
Herbert Muller .... driver: racing cars
Mimmo Neccia .... driver: racing cars
Robin Ormes .... driver: racing cars
Michael Parkes .... driver: racing cars
Aldo Pessina .... driver: racing cars
Teddy Pilette .... driver: racing cars
David Piper .... driver: racing cars
Brian Redman .... driver: racing cars
Jean Sage .... driver: racing cars
Jo Siffert .... driver: racing cars
Rob Slotemaker .... driver: racing cars
Dieter Spoerry .... driver: racing cars
Rolf Stommelen .... driver: racing cars
Jonathan Williams .... driver: racing cars
Daniel Aumont .... driver (uncredited)
Bernard Boulay .... taxi driver (uncredited)
Rene Brouard .... taxi driver (uncredited)
Albin Eichel .... head driver (uncredited)
Jacob Holzhofer .... transportation manager (uncredited)
Pierre Jacquemin .... driver (uncredited)
Pierre Jardin .... driver (uncredited)
Phillipe Jorion .... driver (uncredited)
John Lake .... driver (uncredited)
Maurice Leroy .... taxi driver (uncredited)
Alain Lochouarn .... driver (uncredited)
Raymond Marchand .... taxi driver (uncredited)
Joel Mozdzer .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Andrew Ferguson .... head of racing department
John Franco .... script supervisor
Michael Parkes .... racing consultant
Vincent Tubbs .... unit publicist
Haig Alltounian .... chief mechanic (uncredited)
Hans Arn .... catering manager (uncredited)
Joan Arnold .... secretary: Mr. Reddish (uncredited)
Louis Baroux .... garage night watchman (uncredited)
Jean Batard .... plane mechanic (uncredited)
Bess Benveniste .... secretary: Mr. Kleiner (uncredited)
Kerst Bottema .... projectionist (uncredited)
Marcelle Boudet .... secretary: Mr. Relyea (uncredited)
Sister Brigitte .... medical nurse (uncredited)
Claude Brossard .... mechanic (uncredited)
Magy Brunner .... coordinator: housing and travel (uncredited)
Ron Butcher .... communications chief (uncredited)
Helen Carrier .... secretary to writer (uncredited)
Claude Chaumond .... apprentice: A.C.O. (uncredited)
Claude Chaumond .... liaison: A.C.O. (uncredited)
Jacques Chesnel .... camp workman (uncredited)
Daniel Chiarelli .... camp workman (uncredited)
Jean-Yves Couant .... pilot: plane (uncredited)
Gerard Crombac .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Ricardo De Frutos .... cashier (uncredited)
Louis Deret .... garage day watchman (uncredited)
Jeanine Dubois .... camp supervisor (uncredited)
Simone Escoffier .... secretary: Mr. Rosen (uncredited)
Sidney Ganis .... publicist (uncredited)
Christian Gatard .... interpreter (uncredited)
Colette Georges .... camp cleaning woman (uncredited)
Claude Gilaizeau .... apprentice (uncredited)
Leon Guillaume .... camp night watchman (uncredited)
Patricia Knatz .... secretary: racing department (uncredited)
Philippe Le Franc .... production assistant (uncredited)
Dominique Lefèvre .... production secretary (uncredited)
Ralph M. Leo .... production accountant (uncredited)
Alan Levine .... assistant: Mr. Reddish (uncredited)
Darryl Levine .... communications apprentice (uncredited)
Belinda McPherson .... assistant publicist (uncredited)
Danielle Moreau .... office assistant (uncredited)
James Morgan .... apprentice to producer (uncredited)
Liliane Plessix .... camp cleaning woman (uncredited)
Pierre Reynald .... production accountant (uncredited)
Christian Riml .... apprentice to producer (uncredited)
Richard Rivoire .... interpreter (uncredited)
Odette Rousseau .... camp cleaning woman (uncredited)
Line Schvartz .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Dennis Sparks .... sheet metal man (uncredited)
Freddy Zurbrugg .... chief cook (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The 24 Hours of Le Mans" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
106 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Mono (35 mm prints)
Australia:G | Finland:K-8 | France:U | New Zealand:G | Singapore:PG | Sweden:11 | UK:PG (video rating) (2003) | UK:U (original rating) (1971) | USA:G | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Derek Bell had a lucky escape during shooting. The Ferrari 512 he was driving suddenly caught fire while he was getting into position for a take. He managed to get out of the car just before it was engulfed in flames and received only minor burns. The car was badly damaged but later rebuilt.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 »
Michael Delaney:This isn't just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional bloodsport. And it can happen to you. And then it can happen to you again.See more »
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65 out of 67 people found the following review useful.
Les 24 Heures, 15 December 2002
Author: rrichr from Berkeley, CA

Fans of motor racing will appreciate this semi-documentary film based on the legendary 24-hour French road race. The film is set during a period in motor sports just prior to its almost total usurpation by corporate culture, in this case 1970, when there was still a tolerable balance between sponsorship and the particular form of nobility that pervaded racing. As a film, LeMans is remarkable for a sense of restraint that is so unwavering that even the incomparable Steve McQueen seems almost normal inside its cool envelope. No movie on the subject has ever equaled its transparency and authenticity. Motor sports have become so sophisticated and big-time that if you cut the average driver with a knife he might bleed only contact cleaner, or Mello Yello. Modern drivers are still courageous and skilled, but something essential has been lost to the hype and the inevitability of high technology. In LeMans, you can almost smell the 100 octane Supershell and the hot Castrol. People look at one another, not at computer displays. They converse directly over the rasp of tightly-wound 12-cylinder engines, not through headsets and mikes. It's a human thing. Overwrought genre siblings like Days of Thunder are ludicrous and crass compared to LeMans' pure, almost ascetic spirit. Tom Cruise's Cole Trickle could not buy a pit pass into its world.

LeMans is, essentially, about racing. But as a film in the American narrative style, it must have at least some back story and, in this case, that story is romantic. As a safeguard against terminal mushiness, the back story is duplexed into a pair of similar boy/girl situations, thereby keeping each from acquiring excessive density while satisfying the needs of the form. In one, a European driver and his tres charmant, preternaturally understanding wife, work through to a conclusion that it is time for him to walk away while he is still able. The other focuses on the hesitating and mutual attraction between McQueen's American racing star and the widow of an Italian driver who died in the previous year's LeMans race. The night-time accident that claimed her husband also involved McQueen's character; a no-fault event. It was just racing. The lady, who still misses her late husband but is ready to move on, desperately needs someone to talk to, someone who fully understands the nature of her loss and who might possibly, to some discernible degree, justify it. Steve McQueen thrived on characters who required no external validation, from women or men, but who were never arrogant about it. He was the real deal. Few of us have the courage or motivation to be as authentic, or to weather the storms that can result from being so, though I think we should still try. McQueen's racing driver carries this same authenticity and he sutures the widow's aching heart with it during a meal break (LeMans cars were driven around the clock by two-driver teams) while sitting across the table from the lady. She is resisting a strong desire to run and protect herself from her own feelings. But McQueen's character is so self-effacing and contained, yet so completely and unthreateningly there, that she cannot pull away from him. Only part of the dialog is audible. The rest of the scene is viewed from outside the dining area as the camera pulls back through its window. It's a brief scene but excellently acted, adding itself into the film's humanity, a quality that is never lost against the backdrop of hurtling cars and screaming engines.

The racing sequences are beautifully staged. The final seconds before the race starts, drivers in the cars, fidgeting with shifters, one by one switching ignitions on as the countdown closes against a stethoscopic heartbeat sound, puts you right in the cockpits. At-speed scenes were driven by actual racing luminaries of the time, including McQueen himself, and they go as fast camera mounts will allow. A couple of spectacular crashes take place, both filmed in an interwoven stop-action style that lets you watch every rivet pop as the cars unpeel like grapes. Near the end, entirely plausible circumstance pits McQueen and his main rival, a great German driver in a gripping last-lap duel. (the German driver, played by Sigfried Rauch, also played the wily Wehrmacht Sergeant in Sam Fuller's The Big Red One.) These two characters meet briefly during mutual down-time early in the race and establish the obvious respect and fraternal affection they hold for one another. The camaraderie established here underpins the entire film from that point and also transforms their last-lap duel into pure contest. And the cars. open-class LeMans machines of this period still sourced much of the sinuous design style of the preceding decade and they are gorgeous to the appreciative eye, especially McQueen's ride, the Gulf Porsche 917, possibly the most charismatic car ever raced. Interestingly, one of the cars used in the film (a Lola as I recall) was recently discovered languishing in a German barn, sans motor and transmission. Both had been loaned by Porsche for the production.

Fire up LeMans on a system with decent audio capabilities, EQ a bit toward the bass to compensate for accurate but slightly raspy 70's recording technology, and crank it up. You may not feel the burn, but you'll definitely hear it. Only the somewhat too Rat-Pack score detracts from this super little film and that only slightly. Otherwise it's as time-proof as one of those molded spoons you get in Chinese restaurants. Any true fan of the sport, certainly as it was in the film's time-set, should collect it. If you appreciate the compact, character-driven, semi-documentary style, try Downhill Racer. Released the year before LeMans, it's about skiing. Robert Redford's Kiss-My-Ass ski god isn't remotely noble but is entirely believable, as are Gene Hackman and Dabney Coleman as his coaches. It was one of the late John Simon's favorite films, and for good reason.

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