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55 of 56 found the following review helpful:
The Ultimate Racing ExperienceFeb 29, 2000
By Steve R.
"Grand Prix" is the finest racing movie ever produced. The story involves the pursuit of the Formula 1 World Championship by four men: Jean-Pierre Sarti (Yves Montand), an aging former champion who grows weary from the acute physical demands of the sport and team politics; Nino Barlini (Antonio Sabato), a brash, fearless young lion; Scott Stoddard (Brian Bedford), a man broken in body yet driven to match the legacy of his deceased brother; and Pete Aron (James Garner), a stoic, pragmatic American fighting to restore a faltering career. The Ferrari Team Manager comments during the film, "Everyone wants to win...there is no distinction in that." What distinguishes these four men from others is the sheer force of will each exhibits to overcome his personal demons and to achieve his final destiny.
The drama unfolds amidst many of the great racing circuits of Europe...the narrow, twisting streets of Monte Carlo; the rain-slickened expanse of Spa; and the tortuous, high, concrete banks of Monza. John Frankenheimer's inventive split-screen imaging and on-board cameras put you inside the cockpit where you sense the raw power and road-pounding vibrations from these sleek racing machines. You are at once deafened by the high-pitched whine of superbly tuned engines as they roar off the starting grid...and then mesmerized by Maurice Jarre's soft, eloquent musical score set to compelling visual images of cars rising, falling, and turning through the racing circuit in a ballet of speed, grace, and beauty. I agree with an earlier review that DVD would materially enhance the appeal of this production and I sincerely hope DVD will be forthcoming. Regardless, "Grand Prix" will forever serve as the quintessential racing movie.
35 of 35 found the following review helpful:
This film is a must have for historic motosports fans.Jun 27, 2006
By M. Tyler
Although racing films in general have never enjoyed overwhelming commercial success Grand Prix stands alone as the best racing film of all time!
The storyline isn't brilliant by any means and there are a few `unexplained' bloopers such as Jean Pierre Sarte's mysterious helmet change from one race to the next - which was due to John Surtees leaving the Ferrari team at mid-season and signing with Cooper for a bit before eventually signing with Honda - but if you're a diehard Formula 1 fan this film is a true blessing.
I already own the Laser disc and still own one of the original programs that were sold at the movie theaters and I have been waiting for this film to come out on DVD for ages, simply in the hopes of viewing the treasure-trove of behind-the-scenes footage.
Although the film did not receive the critical success many felt it deserved the historic importance of this film should not be underestimated because it's the only clear color film footage available anywhere in the world where you can see; Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Jimmy Clark, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Jochen Rindt, Bruce McLaren, Maurice Trintignant, Mike Parkes, Joakim Bonnier, Lorenzon Bandini, Chris Amon, Guy Ligier and even the great Juan Manuel Fangio together on the big screen and in their crowning glory. - Be sure to watch closely during the Spa Francorchamps drivers meeting when Jochen Rindt playfully reaches out and trips Graham Hill (aka `Bob Turner') as he's trying to step past Rindt.
For fans and students of cinematography the camera angles and the technology invented to achieve many of those angles are a testament to the ground-breaking achievements that underscore the unique and visionary genius of John Frankenheimer. And of course there's a wonderful cast of outstanding actors including the great Toshiro Mifune, Brian Bedford, Yves Montand, Antonio Sabato, and of course, James Garner who was inspired by his role in the film and went on to enjoy moderate success as an amateur racer.
Grand Prix is a must have for every motorsports fan and required study for any cinematography student who someday dreams of shooting a film with cars of any type, let alone racing!
20 of 20 found the following review helpful:
a classic and a must for race fansDec 31, 2002
By Tina Morris
John Frankenheimer broke new ground when he filmed "Grand Prix", putting cameras on single-seater cars and thus creating some of the most amazing footage ever shot of cars from that era. The movie is on the light side as far as the story development goes, and while James Garner is very convincing as an American grand prix ace, one has a harder time buying this sort of act from Yves Montand who plays the aging Ferrari driver. Eva Marie Saint is cast as a magazine journalist following the grand prix circus around Europe, trying to get a story - a storyline that was recently successfully resurrected in "Driven". Her lovestory with Montand is not exactly hot, but the highly dramatic race action in Monte Carlo, Spa, and Monza (they still used the famous banking of the autodromo in those days!)more than makes up for that. The film features cameo appearances of some of the era's greatest drivers like Graham Hill. Letter-boxed on a larger screen is the only decent way to completely enjoy the breath-taking cinematography of this classic.
16 of 16 found the following review helpful:
No back projectionMay 05, 2006
By Arthur Haupt
I have high hopes for the quality of this new release, and greatly look forward to seeing Grand Prix again. It was a reserved-seat movie back in 1966, and in those days epic movies took their spectacle seriously. (Grand Prix is spectacular in a different way than Spartacus, which in turn is different from Lawrence, etc.)
Back in 1966, or '56 or '46, when actors drove cars in movies, even race cars, they were invariably back-projected. Seemed fakey then, though now it doesn't bother me. But Grand Prix was maybe the first movie to eschew back projection for actor-driving-car scenes. In GP, the 70mm camera that pans and tilts, is literally bolted on the cars. The scenery flying by is real. The actual actor, e.g., Garner or Ives Montand, is out in the weather driving his race car and driving pretty fast, and you're out there with him, two feet away. What a movie.
16 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Simply The Finest Racing Movie Ever!Aug 10, 2001
By Greg Haltom
I first saw "Grand Prix" in a Cinerama Theater when it was released in 1967. Unbelievable! Today; it holds up. I would love to again see it on a Cinerama screen. Nothing compares to that kind of presentation. It is simply the finest racing movie ever made. "LeMans" w/Steve McQueen was also very good, but "Grand Prix" has a plot. John Frankenheimer's camera work is superb. He again used similar camera mounts on cars when filming "Ronin". "Grand Prix" is stunning in many ways. From the streets of Monaco to the actual banking at Monza, it is a masterpiece. It needs to be released on DVD. The Soundtrack is wonderful, as well. Some of the most beautiful music - The Grand Prix Overture, you will ever hear in any movie! It has been said that this kind of movie will never be duplicated. I believe it. When Stallone approached F1 about his idea about a racing movie, he was shunned. He went to CART, made "Driven", and it has it's moments (few). There is no comparison. Even with today's technology, I guess the cost to 'even' try to achieve what John Frankenheimer achieved would prohibit such a 'grand' production. He was basically given the space he needed, even the Ferrari factory allowed access, to make his masterpiece. And folks, this movie is a masterpiece! Forget the date of 1966. The cars are gorgeous, the acting superb, and the tracks - wow! You will even see cameos by some legendary drivers of the era. Graham Hill, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Jochen Rindt, and others.
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