Review: ‘Le Mans’

Marked by some spectacular car-racing footage, Le Mans is a successful attempt to escape the pot-boiler of prior films on same subject. The solution was to establish a documentary mood. Steve McQueen stars (and races).

Marked by some spectacular car-racing footage, Le Mans is a successful attempt to escape the pot-boiler of prior films on same subject. The solution was to establish a documentary mood. Steve McQueen stars (and races).

Filmed abroad on actual French locales, the project began under director John Sturges. Creative incompatibilities brought McQueen, his Solar Prods indie, and Cinema Center Films to the mat, and as the dust settled Sturges was out and Lee H. Katzin finished the film and gets solo screen credit.

The spare script finds McQueen returning to compete in the famed car race a year after he has been injured. Elga Andersen, wife of a driver killed in the same accident, also returns, somewhat the worse for emotional wear. Siegfried Rauch is McQueen’s continuing rival in racing competition.

The film establishes its mood through some outstanding use of slow motion, multiple-frame printing, freezes, and a most artistic use of sound – including at times no sound. The outstanding racing footage not only enhances the effects, but stands proudly on its own feet in straight continuity.

Le Mans

Production

Solar/Cinema Center. Director Lee H. Katzin, [John Sturges]; Producer Jack N. Reddish; Screenplay Harry Kleiner; Camera Robert B. Hauser, Rene Guissart Jr; Editor Donald W. Ernst; Music Michel Legrand

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Steve McQueen Siegfried Rauch Elga Andersen Ronald Leigh-Hunt
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading