Grand Prix

"Excellent"

Grand Prix Review


Sorry, NASCAR fans. Grand Prix isn't your usual chips-hot-dogs-beer-and-babes trip to the speedway.

John Frankenheimer crafts a surprisingly rich and interesting movie that's set during the rise of auto racing. Not only does it capture the spectacle of these tiny little open-air cars hurtling around European village streets (no ovals here), it also builds an interesting story of rivalries, friendly and otherwise.

The story alone is enough to almost make you become interested in auto racing. Pete Aron (James Garner) gets into a wreck with his teammate Scott Stoddard (Brian Bedford), leaving the latter fighting for his life and the former quickly fired from the team. While Scott convalesces, Pete takes a shine to his wife (the lovely Jessica Walter) and starts driving for a Japanese team (owned by Toshiro Mifune). Meanwhile, subplots track relationships among two other drivers, played by Yves Montand and Antonio Sabato (no, not "Jr.").

As intricate as the relationship tangles are, Frankenheimer does even better work on the track. Putting the camera on the hood, over a wheel, and in the driver's seat, he captures the spirit of racing way before network TV figured out the same tricks. Helicopter shots give us the big picture, then we're thrown right into the thick of it. A few big crashes are impressive (and vital to the story, mind you), but Frankenheimer's overzealous use of split screen dates the picture quite badly in some places. There are also a few problems with telling who's who in a race, and even in a few instances of figuring out who actually won.

But that's a minor quibble. For a three-hour film, Grand Prix is surprisingly engrossing and never less than exciting, even when Stoddard is confined to a hospital bed. I'm less thrilled about the new DVD's putting the film on two discs, but tons of extras (including a half-dozen new and vintage featurettes) make up for most of these drawbacks.



Grand Prix

Facts and Figures

Run time: 176 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st December 1966

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Cherokee Productions, Douglas & Lewis Productions, Joel Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 6

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Pete Aron, as Louise Frederickson, Brian Bedford as Scott Stoddard, as Jean-Pierre Sarti, as Pat Stoddard, Antonio Sabato as Nino Barlini, as Izo Yamura, as Hugo Simon, Françoise Hardy as Lisa, as Agostini Manetta

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.