Grand Prix - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Grand Prix Reviews

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September 12, 2016
Why is it that 90% of films over 50 years old are rated close to 100% by Tomatometer, no matter what they are really worth?

This film, although better than some others rated equally highly, does not rate anywhere near 100% IMHO. The atmosphere is mostly generated through highly-revved Ferrari engines and breathtaking scenes of the racetracks in Monte Carlo and other places. This could just as well have been achieved through a 1960's documentary of Formula 1 racing. The acting, despite the grandiose actors' names, is mediocre at best. I was not impressed.
August 30, 2016
One of my favourite films of all time. A 3 hour ride of emotions taking you back to a far more dangerous time in racing. Should have watched this earlier.
½ February 28, 2016
Grand Prix with James Garner

I like the opening with all the cuts, the sound effects and starting with interviews with the drivers.

It looks so amazing. I'm not sure if I'm a big fan of multiple screens taking up the same screen.

James Garner tried saying something was wrong with his car almost in the middle of the race but they did not know what to do. It almost killed his team mate with a girl who does not enjoy her husband driving races and James Garners car went into the Mediterranean Sea.

No there is no terrible way to win. There is just winning.

For James Garner character it is not about the money but about racing and chance to win. He is willing to take less in profits and pay for his own expenses and take from the race winnings a portion.

For the Ferrari company to sponsor James garner it is not about driver so much as much as not having the driver disqualifying About quality and reliability of the vehicle.

I like seeing variety in the different types of cars and vehicles shown in this film.

I think it interesting how the different races have a different feel to them in how they are shot.

One race it shows the race with the crowd in the front and race in the background.

Or race overlapping other footage of the race with a French sound to the music. The look of the race is different.

One is a love story where he goes out with a girl but wife is just a business relationship rather than love relationship so one racer goes out with a different woman.

Another is splitting up with her husband or girlfriend

James Garner tries to get into a race as a driver so he works a news reporter in the race.

Then we see the Japanese interested in the race. Japanese are interested in getting James Garner as a driver. He wants to higher as a third car driver James Garner. That way the Japanese race car company owner can win by any means necessary.

There are no subtitles. The film is told and spoken in several different languages by the actors, speakers, news reporters.

I like how the film is shot and decision on how music over sound effects are used in a scenes.

One of the leading women is from North by Northwest. The girl is John Pierre's girlfriend.

Japanese Owner Izo Yamura In the World War II He shot 17 planes.
After the war Americans occupied his home and when through they altered his home adding closets and bathrooms. Locking up their acquired possessions.
He comes right to the point. Pete Aron replies what you did in the war does not matter. He missed World War II by a few years.

They enter the wounded drivers home Scott Stoddard to find it filled with trophies in cases.

This film does a good job developing the characters and giving bits of information subtly throughout the film in different forms.

Italy, France, and England have different feels to the race and it is reflected in how they are shot and what are made the emphasis in the races.

In England it rand in the race to have a different look and feel to the race.

Scott Stoddard says With a car can strip to find what is the matter with it. If only can do that with people.

In England it is the driver who was the Winner in Italy who wins and the looser who becomes the winner. It is the one who got in the wreck in Italy Scott Stoddard who comments about James Garners win.

Then they go to the Netherlands for the race.

Follows 4 racers. Music is more emphasized. 4 camera screens for the race.

Shows pain in divers legs. Knees of Scott Stoddard

This time the winner in Netherland is the one who had an accident at the begging of the film. But he is shooting his leg with steroids or drugs to keep his leg out of pain. Still in recovery not completely recovered.

Next race is in Mexico.

Start of with big band.

Still puddles of water on track in Mexico. Overlapping footage. See driver putting in drugs before race.

Scott Stoddard Driver passes out from the drugs in the middle of the race but makes it to the pit stop.

James Garners car leaking fuel and on fire. James Garner makes second.

Nino Barlini GR.A from driver from Italy is winner of one race then leaves his girlfriend to date other girls.

Jean-Pierre doubts why he is driving based upon how many showed up to help the dead driver over the winner.

Cars for several car companies Ferrari and Ford show up late for the race.

Jean-Pierre's real wife shows up for race after Mexico.

Ferrari owner is thinking of retiring John Pierre.

Jean-Pierre Barti wife; Monique DeLvaux Barti says he will only have prestige if he is married to her. The other girl Pierre is dating is nothing.

Nino Barlini Winner of last race leaves behind his girl for dating other girls working for the Japanese company. Geisha girls

The race means uncertainty.

Nino Barlini's girlfriend is leaving him because goes for other girls.

Do you want me to stay. I think you are old enough to make own decisions.

Scott Stoddard Group B

Steep inclines for the road turned at an angle.

Monzo Banking

Have to go 180 and gravity pulls car towards banking.

James Garner as Pete Aron response to Japanese owner Izo Yamura to why he races To feel so close to death is life and feel like living.

This film is filmed with incredible footage of races, and crashes.

Shows life and death.

It was crazy seeing one of the crashes with John Pierre going over the ramp. He dies in the race.

James Garner as Pete Aron wins the race. And he has
Scott Stoddard join him in a drink out of the trophie for toasting his fellow racer John Pierre.

We see James Garner as Pete Aron at the end revisit the finish line to remiss over the loss of a fellow with the sound effects of the cars playing in the background.

I do like the film score in this film. It presents both the good and bad things concerning car races from the different nations interest in racing, the crashes, publicity, alcohol, drugs and drivers relationships with other people.

I liked how they filmed the car races. It looked amazing all the different moving camera angles. This had an interesting look. I did feel as though it was a little long but it was enjoyable. The first car race was amazing.
July 10, 2015
WOW......WOW......WOW.....WOW.....STUNNING......FANTASTIC......GENIUS.......AMAZING......I HAVE JUST SEEN THIS MOVIE 4 THE 1ST TIME N THINK THAT THIS IS SUCH A BRILLIANT MOVIE 2 WATCH......its got a good cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie.....I think that james garner (.R.I.P.), brian Bedford, yves montand (.R.I.P.), Antonio sabato, play good roles/parts throughout this movie......I think that the director of this drama/classics movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.......I think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch.........I think that this is such cult classics movie 2 watch......I think that this is such a really sad movie 2 watch.......

The film includes real-life racing footage and cameo appearances by drivers including Formula One World Champions Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt and Jack Brabham. Other drivers who appeared in the film include Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Joakim Bonnier, Bruce McLaren and Jo Siffert

The making was a race itself, as John Sturges and Steve McQueen planned to make a similar movie titled Day of the Champion. Due to their contract with the German Nürburgring, Frankenheimer had to turn over 27 reels shot there to Sturges. Frankenheimer was ahead in schedule anyway, and the McQueen/Sturges project was called off, while the German race track was only mentioned briefly in Grand Prix.

The F1 cars in the film are mostly mocked-up Formula 3 cars made to look like contemporary F1 models, although the film also used footage from actual F1 races.[citation needed] Some of this was captured by Phil Hill, the 1961 World Champion, who drove modified camera cars in some sessions during the 1966 Monaco and Belgian Grands Prix. This was some of the earliest experimentation with in-car cameras for Formula One.

The actual level of driving ability of the actors varied wildly - Bedford couldn't drive at all and was only ever in the car for close-up shots. Sabŕto was very slow and nervous, Montand himself scared very easily early in filming and was often towed rather than driving the car, but Garner was very competent and even took up racing and entering cars as a direct result of his involvement in the film. So impressive were Garner's driving skills that some of the real Formula One drivers, including Graham Hill and Jack Brabham, reportedly told Garner that he could have been a successful Grand Prix driver if he had not gone into acting.

The helmet design that James Garner's character uses is that of then-Grand Prix race driver Chris Amon from New Zealand. The only difference was a silhouette of a Kiwi bird that was normally on the side of Amon's helmet that was left off Garner's, as his character was an American. Brian Bedford's character used a helmet design that was the same as that of real life 1966 BRM driver Jackie Stewart. As Bedford couldn't drive, this was done so that they could shoot footage of Stewart driving the BRM (with a balaclava over his face to hide that it wasn't actually Bedford driving) and pass it off as Bedford.

Circuits featured in the film include; Circuit de Monaco (Monaco), Clermont-Ferrand (France), Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Circuit Park Zandvoort (Netherlands), Brands Hatch (United Kingdom), and Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy). The Nürburgring (Germany), Watkins Glen International (USA), and the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (Mexico) were all mentioned in the film but there was no footage shown.

The camera car used on the tracks was a Ford GT40 driven by Phil Hill. Cameras were mounted at the front and/or rear of the GT40 with front and rear body panels being removed as necessary. Aerial shots were filmed from an Alouette III helicopter.

During the making of the film both Frankenheimer and Garner were interviewed by Alan Whicker for the BBC television series Whicker's World

Non-actors appearing include broadcaster Raymond Baxter, who interviews Nino Barlini after he wins the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.

I think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch, it is such a really sad movie 2 watch but it is such a powerful drama movie 2 is such a fantastic drama movie 2 watch, its got such a brilliant cast throughout this movie......I think that james garner (.R.I.P.), was absolutely brilliant throughout this movie.......I think that this is such a brilliant movie 2 watch with such a brilliant cast throughout this movie.......
July 5, 2015
I was intrigued to watch a movie I had never heard about but wanted to compare to another Formula One film I saw a couple of years ago, Rush.
Here James Garner is the main star (he sadly died a few months ago). Garner was quite a competent driver in his own right.
The film shows off lavish cinematography in terms of colour, and speed of the cars. The film stock/cameras used must have been the best available.
The film isn't just about fast cars endlessly lapping racing circuits but explores the drivers and their partner's emotions about fear, injury, death and triumph.
Similar to the film Rush directed by Ron Howard which exolores the real life rivalry of star drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt this film explores rivalries albeit in a fictional manner.
The film uses teal locations and features good camerawork to show the speed of the cars which even in 1966 reached speeds of 180-200 miles per hour.
It would have been interesting to see James Garner and frien and car afficionado Steve McQueen in this film together as rivals.
Definitely a film for racing fans only.
½ July 4, 2015
Cold, unemotional but oh so beautiful. Watch it at the Tate. (Props to Saul Bass)
February 4, 2015
If you like racing this is a must see, the footage of cars of that era is wonderful and rare, as are the cameos from the F1 stars of he day. The acting is very good and the story is believeable.
January 5, 2015
Saw it in 66 when new and in 120 degree cinemascope. Amazing then ... still the best. Rush was interesting but too much CGI.
½ October 14, 2014
Unarguably THE best movie about auto racing EVER! The DVD and especially the blu ray look amazing! Shot in Super Panavision and Cinerama, before any special effects techniques. Director John Frankenheimer gets some of the best shots of cars racing in film history! 30 years before the great car chase movie he also directed, Ronin. Filmed in 1966, this movie looks like it was shot yesterday!!
September 16, 2014
There are so many great things about this film ("You don't dance, you don't smoke, you don't drink ... what do you do?") ... oh, it's just perfect the way it is.
August 7, 2014
An epic of disproportion. There's a low-key Grand Prix championship plot against a long drawn out series of love triangles. It's way to long for such mundane themes despite some very good racing scenes.
July 29, 2014
This one moves a little slow at times and runs a little long. A fair bit of time is spent on developing the characters of the main drivers. The last half picks up quite a bit and is very good.
July 28, 2014
Look for a young Jessica Walters from Arrested Development. Wow.
July 21, 2014
For those in the know its my belief That director John Frankenheimer was the link between the old Hollywood studio system and the movie brats who followed in the 1970s.
Several of Frankenheimer films made in the 60s are rightly regarded as classics of there time and even his lesser works have plenty to keep most folks interested.

The story here is of course the lives and loves of several drivers competing in the F1 Grand Prix's.
James Garner is the American driver with a point to prove after causing a massive shunt at the start of the film .
Garner did most of his own driving and he really could of had a career as an F1 driver.
Yves Montard is great as the driver who ahs seen it all and just wants to survive and Brian Bedford plays the driver with a unfaithful wife and the shadow of his dead brother playing havoc with his career.
The truth is these domestic issues take away from the films best quality and that the racing consequences .
Even in todays real of CGI Frankenheimer and Saul Bass really give you a terrifying insight in to how deadly F1 was in the 60s
The Monza sequence alone is pretty hair raising and its to the directors credit that all the race featured feel different despite the fact its just cars going round a track.
Saul Bass works alongside the director and his montages add plenty of excitement to already heady mix of thrills and spills.
So if you can bypass some iffy script problems this one is a real podium finish .
½ June 24, 2014
a proper racing film
May 13, 2014
The original racing classic!
April 19, 2014
"Grand Prix" is a visual and exhilarating ride! Filmed in 1966 and directed by the talented John Frankenheimer of "Manchurian Candidate" fame, "Grand Prix" is a must see film about racing. I recently saw this wonderful movie and was completely awestruck at the cinematography and brilliant direction. The film incorporates actual formula 1 racing and has famous drivers such as Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Juan Manuel Fangio making cameo appearances. The film begins with Aerial shots of the "Circuit de Monaco" and cameras mounted on the hood and back of a Ford GT40 driven by Championship driver Phil Hill, makes this an authentic film complete with heart stopping footage. The audience is immediately placed in the driver's seat as formula 1 kisses every curve through beautiful Monaco, France, and the famous Monza racetrack in Italy. The story follows four Formula 1 drivers: Pete Aron, played by James Garner trying to make a comeback, English driver Scott Stoddard (Brian Bedform) recovering from a car crash and strongly resembling famous race car driver Jim Clark, actor Yves Montand as the seasoned French driver Sarti who gets involved with American Journalist played by Eva Marie Saint and Italian newcomer race car driver Nino Barlini played by Antonio Sabato. The film runs a bit long on their personal stories. Romantic leading ladies in the story line include actress Jessica Walter and French singer, Franoise Hardy. Shot in Super Panavision 70, "Grand Prix" was presented in theaters in 70mm Cinerama (curved movie screens). "Grand Prix" won three Academy Awards for Best Sound, Best Sound Effects, and Best Film Editing. Frankenheimer, a real car racing enthusiast was nominated for Outstanding Director by the Director's Guild of America. Doing much of his own driving was James Garner, who after making the film took up racing. His skills on the set impressed formula 1 drivers Graham Hill and Jack Brabham to such a degree, they told him he could have been a successful Grand Prix driver had he not gone into acting.
½ April 10, 2014
Good movie , if you like racing. ps: James Gardner did his own stunt driving in this move. That would be unheard of today!!
March 23, 2014
Impressionnante rĂ (C)alisation pour un film de 1966 ! Pour fan de course automobile bien sur...
March 19, 2014
Great motor racing movie, possibly the best non-documentary motor racing ever. (If you include documentaries, however, "Senna" takes it).

Excellent racing scenes. Every race was seat-of-your-pants stuff. Nothing was predictable: by the time of the last race there were still several possibilities open to how the movie was going to end.

The last race was one of the more intense 15 minutes or so in cinema history. There was a huge feeling of impending doom, but you did not know for whom (or even that it was for only one person).

Great cinematography during the racing scenes. It was like being there. Plus you get to feel what it is like to be someone in the crowd, or in the pits, or in the press.

However, the non-racing scenes detract from the quality of the movie. Yes, they show the private lives of the racers and make them more human, but they aren't done very well. The non-racing stuff doesn't develop the characters much, even though with all that time spent (and it is a lot) you'd think it would.

In the end the non-racing stuff just feels like padding, blowing out the running time and making it boring in stretches.

Good performances from James Garner and Yves Montand. However, nobody else really measures up. Jessica Walter was unconvincing and Eva Marie Saint, for all her talent (thinking North By Northwest), just seems a bit spare. Francois Hardy does a decent job, and looks stunning doing it, but has little screen time, or impact on the movie.
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