Saturday, February 2, 2013

Grand Prix (1966)

(Please click the link to read my review of Groundhog Day)

Dang – this would have been perfect for my “Driving Really Fast” theme last month!

Synopsis: It’s three hours of Jim Rockford in a tiny little car.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “The action unfolds on treacherous, world-class racetracks from Monte Carlo to Monza, Italy, as Grand Prix explores the lives, loves and rivalries of four top drivers vying for the Formula 1 World Championship title.”

What Did I Learn?: 1) There aren’t really any historic relics in the Mediterranean near the Greek islands – they were planted there for gullible Americans to find. 2) Sylvester Stallone’s Driven totally ripped off this movie.

Really?: Doesn’t a Japanese industrialist who manufactures radios and sewing machines have better (or at least other) things to do with his time than traipse around Europe following Grand Prix racing?

Rating: While I consider myself a fan of John Frankenheimer’s films, Grand Prix isn’t one of his better efforts. At nearly three hours(!!), it’s far too long, the script is nothing special, and I found myself bored during long stretches, especially when the action didn’t focus on James Garner. (Interestingly, Eva Marie Saint appears in almost no scenes with Garner, even though the two of them enjoy top billing). If you have the time, check out Grand Prix for the fancy camera work and impressive racing sequences. 6/10 stars.

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