the film “Le Mans” by Steve McQueen that appeals to the love between man and machine

It has been more than 51 years since the premiere of the documentary film “Le Mans” by Steve McQueen: a benchmark for motorsport lovers, but not for the rest of the spectators in general. Apparently, even McQueen was not 100% satisfied with the overall result, and did not attend the premiere.

The production was a bit chaotic (there is even a documentary about it) and the actor was soon forced to cede creative control of what was born as a most passionate project and ended up being somewhat watered down.

Sin only weaves the dialogues, los petrolhead most nostalgic for one of the most iconic and evocative periods of motorsports, we are left with the real scenes of pure and hard competition, that they did achieve their objective. These were shot at the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours.

The epic of racing in its golden age brought to the big screen

As it is shown in the scene of the mythical start of the racethe film is able to perfectly capture the essence of the competition and what the Resistance Championship meant in what was its golden age.

It also tries to convey, in its 106-minute duration, the emotion that aroused among the fans to see how a handful of speed freaks, whom they admired for being almost “super men”, literally risked their lives, trying to tame their beasts in each race.

And how. With hardly any electronic aids and in safety conditions that are light years from those that prevail today, it is not surprising that they generated admiration and even “a certain type of addiction” in a historical context in which automobile culture was very present throughout the world. this and across the pond.


McQueen’s team wanted to bring all that passion to the big screen and, to do so, nothing better than shooting the vast majority of the film in the 1970 edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans: a race in which the legendary Porsche 917 and the brutal Ferrari 512s faced death and reached dizzying speeds that until then seemed like another planet.

It is difficult to look back at that time without appealing to nostalgia and ignoring that not everything was exactly perfect or rosy. These were really difficult times when death in races like Le Mans was all too common, but it’s impossible not to get romantic about the cars, drivers and setting that the film brings us.

‘Le Mans’ allows us to see and hear the machines and the circuit in a way that no other racing movie has ever achieved (No, not even ‘Rush’).

Porsche 23
Winning Porsche of the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours

Near the end of the film, when Steve McQueen is asked if it’s worth risking so much in competition, he replies: “Running is life… everything before or after is just waiting.”

the eagerness of “The King of Cool” It was to unite his two great passions and take the great public to the world he loved the most. Perhaps he did not succeed with the vast majority of viewers, but he did succeed with many of us who love the pure relationship that has always existed between man and machine.

Source: Motorpasión by

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