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Set against the sexy, glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s, the film is based on the true story of a great sporting rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt (Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Bruhl). The story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error: if you make a mistake, you die. Written by
Jochen Mass, portrayed himself, driving the #12 Marlboro McLaren in the movie. Mass was seen passing stuntmen portraying Niki Lauda and James Hunt (Mass' teammate) in a key scene at the 1976 German Grand Prix, the site of the Nurburgring accident. A production assistant, assigned to work on the end-of-movie credit roll, was making the rounds on the set of the movie "Rush", as the crew filmed at the Nurburgring race track in Germany, in fall 2012, asked Mass what his name was, as he was wearing a racing suit with "Jochen Mass" on it. When he stated his name, several times...The PA looked flustered, "No your real name. What is your real name" . The PA went off in search of someone who spoke German, because she was sure the man was not understanding her question on not who he was portraying in the movie, but what his ACTUAL name was. Mass, is now 67, enjoying a decade in Formula 1 racing, from 1973 to 1982, won the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix - his only F1 triumph, and the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although he retired from competitive driving long ago, he still races the occasional vintage car event. He's fit, and managed to emerge pretty much unscathed from his career in racing. See more »
The ambulance seen driving by at the Nürburgring has an incorrect alarm siren sound. German ambulances sound like "ta-tü-ta-ta" whereas the one in the movie sounds like "dee-daa dee-daa". See more »
Twenty five drivers start every season in Formula One, and each year two of us die. What kind of person does a job like this? Not normal men, for sure. Rebels, lunatics, dreamers. People who are that desperate to make a mark, and are prepared to die trying. My name is Niki Lauda, and racing people know me for two things. The first is my rivalry with him.
I don't know why it became such a big thing. We were just drivers busting each other's balls. To me this is perfectly...
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The film is just over 2 hours long, but when it was over it seemed like I had been in the cinema about 30 minutes.
The film centres on the battle for the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship, and the rivalry between the Austrian "professor" Nikki Lauda and the British playboy James Hunt.
The two are depicted as enemies, but in actual fact they were good friends who trusted and respected each other on, as well as off-track. This bit of artistic licence does not spoil the film and is reasonable in order to make the battle between the two for the F1 crown more intense.
The film is nicely paced. We are introduced to both characters through their own narrative and scenes that leave the watcher in no doubt as to their background and philosophy on life.
The two are first seen in competition in 1970 at a Formula 3 race at Crystal Palace (where they have a coming together) and sets the scene for the rivalry throughout the film. I'm not sure if this is further artistic licence. The two definitely did race each other in F3, but I am not convinced as to whether this actual incident occurred.
After that we are given a whistle stop journey between 1973 (when Hunt came into F1) to 1975. We are shown the dangerous nature of F1 at the time with the Francois Cevert accident at Watkins Glen in gory detail although this does not seem like gratuitous, but necessary to bring home just how unforgiving the sport was back then and it truly was (of the top 12 points scorers in 1976, F1 cars were to claim 3, 1 ended up in a wheelchair and 1 had his career ended by a leg crunching crash).
We are then taken to 1976 and that titanic struggle for the World Crown. Only one real issue here the British Grand Prix result, but I suspect this was simplified in the interests of time.
The casting is superb. Chris Hemsworth, an Aussie, does an excellent job on public schoolboy James Hunt, while Daniel Bruhl both sounds and looks frighteningly like the Austrian. There is little room for a supporting cast amongst the drivers which is a shame only Clay Regazzoni has a part of any real substance. Peterson, Watson, Depailler, Scheckter, Andretti et al could have featured a little more I think. What did their contemporaries think of the two protagonists? The supporting cast is mainly required for Hunt Lord Hesketh, "Bubbles" Horsley and Teddy Mayer / Tyler Alexander of McLaren, while the Ferrari team principals are rarely seen.
The love angle is perfectly catered for by Olivia Wilde (Hunt's first wife Suzy) and the gorgeous Alexandra Maria Lara - of Downfall fame as the future Marlene Lauda. Both give quality performances.
The attention to detail is superb. Although the tracks are not the actual ones (for understandable reasons) the cars, the helmets, the sponsors are all authentic. The film "feels" like it's happening in the 70's.
For anyone interested in great personal stories, F1, the 70's, cars or just like to see a great film, then Rush is for you.
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