Motors and cinema: how many successful films

In recent years, then, alongside the films, we have experienced the great success of documentaries: on football stars, like those on Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo, on the best players in basketball, you see The Last Dance, even on the game of poker we have several excellent documentaries, including Nosebleed And Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker. Obviously there are also documentaries on engines, such as Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Ayrton’s last lap And Until the last braking, documentary that tells, through the voice of Brad Pit, the story of the six fastest motorcyclists of all time, including, unmissable, our Valentino Rossi, who has recently retired from competitions.

In short, engines abound in the seventh art, and making a selection is a rather difficult task. There are some films, however, that cannot be missing from the collection of motor enthusiasts. Between these, Grand Prix, of 1966, and The 24 Hours of Le Mans, from 1970, two blockbusters entered the history of cinema.

Grand Prix, directed by John Frankenheimer, won three Oscars in 1967: Best Editing, Best Sound and Best Sound Editing. It also earned two Golden Globe nominations. The story tells of the challenge between the American Formula 1 driver Pete Aron (the Italian actor Renato Turi), hired by the Japanese Yamura, and Jean-Pierre Sarti, played by Yves Montand, a driver in crisis.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans sees among the protagonists Steve McQueen, as we know great racing enthusiast, and his Porsche 917, in the company of another thirty cars, including many that had participated in the race. The budget of $ 7.5 million, a huge amount for the times, made it possible, among other things, to hire professional pilots, including Derek Bell. There was no shortage of controversy between Steve McQueen and director John Sturges; the film also did not have the hoped-for success. However, it remains a film to be seen because it is part of the history of motor cinema.

Let’s take a long leap forward and move on to Rush, a 2013 film that was very successful even among non-fans: the film focuses on the rivalry between two of the most important drivers in F1 history, Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Bruhl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth, the Thor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe), two very different personalities, almost the nemesis of each other, who made the 1976 season memorable. Fuji circuit.

Another film focused on the Le Mans race is Le Mans 66 – The great challenge, released in theaters in 2019. The film narrates the friendship between Carrol Shelby and Ken Miles, as well as Ford’s victory over Ferrari in the 1966 edition of the competition.

Moving on to motorcycles, we cannot fail to mention one of the most famous films in the history of cinema, a masterpiece that symbolizes an era and is considered the most important film of the so-called New Hollywood: Easy Rider, released in 1969. Riding two Harley-Davidson Panheads, Wyatt (played by Jack Nicholson) and Bill (played by the director of the film Dennis Hooper) decide to cross the States starting from California to land in New Orleans to see the carnival of the city. From there a series of adventures that have made it a legendary film.

Definitely of a different tone, and certainly less fundamental than the easy rider, it is Unleashed on the Road, a 2007 film with John Travolta and Martin Lawrence: riding four Harley-Davidsons, four friends in midlife crisis begin a roadtrip to California. Tim Allen, one of the protagonists, personally made changes to his Black Softail: his passion for mechanics led him to customize the bike, which as we have told you is a real ritual for enthusiasts.

This brief overview certainly cannot exhaust the “motoring” filmography available to enthusiasts, but can represent a good starting point for those who love engines not only on the track, but also on the big screen.

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