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Le Mans (1971)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 23 June 1971 (USA)
3:46 | Trailer
Almost at the verge of documentary, film depicts a single auto race from the ground up.


Lee H. Katzin


Harry Kleiner
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve McQueen ... Michael Delaney
Siegfried Rauch ... Erich Stahler
Elga Andersen ... Lisa Belgetti
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ... David Townsend
Fred Haltiner Fred Haltiner ... Johann Ritter
Luc Merenda ... Claude Aurac
Christopher Waite Christopher Waite ... Larry Wilson
Louise Edlind ... Mrs. Anna Ritter
Angelo Infanti Angelo Infanti ... Lugo Abratte
Jean-Claude Bercq ... Paul-Jacques Dion
Michele Scalera Michele Scalera ... Vito Scaliso
Gino Cassani Gino Cassani ... Loretto Fuselli
Alfred Bell Alfred Bell ... Tommy Hopkins
Carlo Cecchi Carlo Cecchi ... Paolo Scadenza
Richard Rüdiger Richard Rüdiger ... Bruno Frohm


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 13.4 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


Steve McQueen takes you for a drive in the country. The country is France. The drive is at 200 MPH! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Steve McQueen described the film's production as "a bloodbath". See more »


Near the end, Wilson (blue Porsche) is being chased by Delaney (blue Porsche) and Stahler (red Ferrari) who are side by side - however another shot just afterwards shows Wilson being chased by 2 red cars that are side by side. 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 »


Referenced in Endeavour: Raga (2020) See more »


The Race, First Laps
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand Et Son Orchestre
See more »

User Reviews

Classic cool 70s cinema
18 May 2018 | by garethcrookSee all my reviews

In parts this is classic cool 70s cinema. Widescreen jazz infused. In other parts it's down and dirty trackside racing. Never quite a documentary, but close enough to the action for anyone interested in motor racing. Le Mans is a fascinating race and this is every bit the love letter to it. Dialogue is sparse, McQueen is quiet and brooding. The plot is simple, although could've been a bit more engaging. It's about the racing though, pure and simple and with several sequences that are nothing short of staggering cinematic brilliance, it can be forgiven for any inadequacies elsewhere. With watching racing, it's as much about what's happening off the track, the strategy, the politics and it's exactly the same with this film, the production fraught with issues and squabbles, the trivia section on IMDB is riveting!

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English | French | Italian | German

Release Date:

23 June 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Mans See more »


Box Office


$7,573,797 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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