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A French Kiss with Death: Steve McQueen and the Making of Le Mans (Driving) [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Michael Keyser
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 45.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Feb 2012 Driving
In text and photographs A French Kiss with Death - Steve McQueen and the Making of Le Mans: The Man, The Race, The Cars, The Movie, examines the life of actor, Steve McQueen, the films in which he appeared and his love affair with the many cars and motorcycles he owned during his lifetime. The book details the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the backgrounds of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lola, Matra and Porsche leading up to the 1970 Manufacturers Championship Series. You're there when Steve hones his driving skills in his Porsche 908 at Willow Springs, Phoenix and Riverside; and at the 1970 Daytona 24 Hours, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 24 Hours of Le Mans, on which the film Le Mans was based. A major portion of the book gives a detailed behind-the-scenes account of the making of Le Mans - from start to finish - with insightful and entertaining stories from some of the key players involved in the making of the film, both from behind the cameras and behind the wheels of the more than 25 cars used during the production: Alfa Romeos, Corvettes, Chevrons, Ferraris, Porsches, Lolas, & Matras. The book is 464 pages in length with over 800 photographs - many taken during the production. The author of A FRENCH KISS WITH DEATH is American driver Michael Keyser with additional help from English driver Jonathan Williams, co-driver of the Porsche 908 Solar Productions camera car that raced in the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans, and an actor and stunt driver on the film. Over the past four years the authors have conducted dozens of interviews and collected hundreds of photographs to produce the definitive book on the making of Le Mans.

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A French Kiss with Death: Steve McQueen and the Making of Le Mans (Driving) + Le Mans [DVD] [1971]
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Brooklands Books Ltd; illustrated edition edition (6 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0837602343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837602349
  • Product Dimensions: 27.6 x 21.3 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best motor racing books ever written 29 Mar 2000
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Most motor racing books are excellent reference works but lack literary style and page-turning ability. This is different - and how - a simply brilliantly told saga of the background to and filming of the real and staged 1970 Le Mans 24 hour race. When I received the book I simply could not put it down. The next task is to watch the film again, which I luckily have on video. Buy this book, which is now the joint best book ever written about motor racing, along with Mon Ami Mate by Chris Nixon - the style of writing of which is quite similar.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Car is the Star 28 Jun 2000
Format:Hardcover
This is a book about a flawed man in a fundamentally flawed film. A classic era for sportscar racing was the late sixties. The classic car of that time was the Porsche 917 (rated the best racing car ever in a recent poll of racing enthusiasts) and Le Mans was (and remains) the classic race.
The story of the Steve McQueen film "Le Mans", based on the 1970 race, is a story of ego winning over common sense. In the Sixties McQueen was "cool".
He raised the finance to make a feature film based upon the Le Mans race.Ironically his producers and, more likely, their insurers refused to let him actually drive in the race.
The story line puts McQueen in a Gulf Porsche 917 against the Scuderia Ferrari 512's. The inspiration was the close finish of the 1969 race. The strap line on the poster said "Steve McQueen goes for a drive in the country. The country is France and the drive is at 200 mph." At the end of the day the car was the star and that car was a Gulf Porsche 917.
The story of how the film came together and was completed is more interesting than the film itself. No script and the need to recreate racing sequences following the bad weather during the actual race caused production to halt and a new director was appointed to bring the film in on time and in budget.
Whilst this was going on McQueen crashed a hire car putting both himself and a co-star, with whom he was having an affair, through the windscreen. He was said to be high on cocaine at the time. His wife and children later appeared on the set but this did little to stop his extra matrimonial activities.
That said the book of the film of the man is a superb "snap shot" of a fascinating event at a fascinating time. The many candid photographs and personal recollections from drivers and film crew involved are revealing but anything that features Porsche 917's and Ferrari 512's at close quarters is worth viewing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A french Kiss with Death 27 Mar 2011
By Doug
Format:Paperback
The ultimate book to support the great Steve McQueen film Lemans. This book covers everthing you would ever want to to know about the making of his iconic film and motor racing event.
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