Movies about racing cars: The good and the not so good

Race fans and Formula 1 enthusiasts do not have the luck to watch the race every weekend, so it is from time to time that we also need to get some kind of movie to spin our blood through our veins and raise our hair upright. In the following, we will present our selection of films that I think are worth seeing in the rainy afternoon when there is no race on the schedule.


Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film centred on the Hunt–Lauda rivalry between two Formula One drivers, the British James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda

First of all, it is necessary to define what is a racing movie at all. The racing movie is not every movie in which cars appear. The racing film must include races, passion, competition, etc. So we cannot define Fast and Furious franchise, Cars (animated film), Cannonball, Death Race and no indisputable works like Bullitt (1968), as true racing movies. Now let’s see which movies can be defined as racing movies…

THE GOOD

The big three are definitely: “Rush” (2013), “Grand Prix” (1966) and Le Mans (1971). The “Rush” is an interesting film, despite many historical shortcomings and focusing only on the main two characters. But much better and more impressive is the “Grand Prix” (1966), in which, besides the Hollywood stars, we see the true Formula 1 drivers. We could watch it over and over again. The same story is Le Mans , which without special effects brutally displays prototype races of that era.


One of the ten highest-grossing films of 1966, Grand Prix won three Academy Awards for its technical achievements.

If you prefer to engage in documentary films, then we recommend “Weekend of a Champion” (1972), Senna (2010), “Williams” (2017) or “1” (2013). All extremely good and very realistic.


Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world’s hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France.

THE NOT SO GOOD

Among those we do not recommend is definitely movie called “Driven” (2001), where Sylvester Stallone transferred the Formula 1 story to the CART environment, spiced up with significantly exaggerated effects and events. Sly brought “Driven” to the level of his action films.

After that, the movie “Days of Thunder” (1990), in which Tom Cruise plays a driver without technical knowledge who comes to NASCAR races and, after the drama and rivalry, of course, wins. Yeah.

In 2003 film about Michel Vaillant was released and failed to move this comic book hero into a moving image with some style. Although the film is nicely recorded , it goes way too much in fantasy world. The same could be said about the 2008 “Speed Racer” movie, which does not seem to work anyhow, as it should.

Simon Jazbec

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