Nine races. One champion. James Garner, Yves Montand, Brian Bedford and Antonio Sabato portray Formula I drivers competing to be the best in this slam-you-into-the-driver's seat tale of speed, spectacle and intertwined personal lives. Eva Marie Saint and Toshiro Mifune also star. John Frankenheimer (who 32 years later would again stomp the pedal to the metal for the car chases of Ronin) directs this winner of 3 Academy Awards - crafting split-screen images to capture the overlapping drama and orchestrating you-are-there POV camerawork to intensify the hard-driving thrills. Nearly 30 top drivers take part in the excitement, so buckle up, movie fans. Race with the best to the head of the pack.
Probably the best of the formula motor racing films, though that isn't saying much. Frankenheimer was a keen fan of the sport, and took great pains to convey the experience cinematically. There are no process shots; a 70mm camera was fixed to Garner's car, and the suspension jacked up on the other side to balance it. Long lenses were used for a slow-motion effect, and split screen boosts the racing footage. But in following an entire season, the movie was always too long, and the bits in-between are the usual soapy off-track drama.
Theatrical Release: December 21st, 1966
DVD Review: Warner (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC|
|Runtime||1:44:40 (Disc 1) + 1:11:15 (Disc 2) = 2:55:55|
Average Bitrate: 6.28 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Bitrate: Disc 1||
|Bitrate: Disc 2||
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, French, None|
the Limit: The Making of Grand Prix--40th Anniversary making-of
WOW - that about sums up my feelings for this DVD transfer... and the film... and the entire DVD package! The only way I can imagine this looking any better is in Cinerama in the theater. Colors and detail on this Warner DVD are impeccable. It might be in the running for DVD transfer of the year. The 5.1 audio just roared at times - it sounded quite stellar on my system.
I am keen on racing but not as much as some of my friends, but I was very interested in the supplements on disc 2. Each featurette is very well made. I particularly liked the stuff on Saul Bass and the film's style. The two 'behind the scenes' features were also quite informative.
Nice to see the 'Overture', 'Entre Act' and 'Intermission' included for a true film-like effect. It is great to see Warner showcase Grand Prix at such a high level. If only all DVD production was this thorough. I felt like I was hypnotized watching this film and I intend to show it to friends very soon. It borders on reference image and the audio is not far behind. We strongly recommend!