Le Mans (1971)

Lee H. Katzin and John Sturges direct Steve McQueen, Louise Edlind Friberg and Siegfried Rauch in this racing drama capturing the 24 hour race – the drivers, pit crews and spectators.

Steve McQueen, one of my favourite stars, might be a petrolhead but I am not. A passion project of his, this uses footage of him driving in other tournaments to suggest a narrative where he wins the big race for reals. It is immersive, just not very interesting. The documentary footage of the crowds arriving, camping overnight, distracting themselves with amusements proves the gold. The listless racing sequences and extended pit stops have little impact. It really is quite the bore. John Sturges started directing this before falling out with the studio and you can see his impactful, bold use of primary colours in some of the earlier shots of McQueen. Really though the only thing that fuel injects some pep into this vanity folly is Michel Legrand’s marvellous score.

4

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We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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