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1 - Life On The Limit [DVD]

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Product details

  • Directors: Paul Crowder
  • Producers: Michael Shevloff, Nigel Sinclair
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Mar. 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GDEZP70
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,128 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Narrated by Michael Fassbender, 1: Life on the Limit is an action documentary that evokes the glamour, speed, danger and excitement of the golden age of Formula 1. In an era when the sport was terrifyingly dangerous, the drivers were revered as rock stars with charisma and raw talent, however many of them paid the ultimate price. Those who survived racing at this time became leaders, standing up to save lives in a sport that was stealing them at a tragic rate.

Using rare and archival footage, 1: Life on the Limit features the largest list of F1 interviewees ever assembled.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 25 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an intelligent, film-length documentary which has excellent access to Grand Prix racing drivers, team managers, engineers, medics and the big names of Formula One. In just under two hours, Life on the Limit documents and discusses how F1 has become safer in recent years. It’s absolutely ram-packed with racing footage – some of it familiar but also many previously unseen archive excerpts.

Inevitably, as the film focuses on the dangerous aspects of motor-racing, we’re shown dozens of high velocity crashes. In many of them the drivers were badly injured and even killed. It includes the heart-rending scene of one driver trapped inside a burning car while another desperately tries to save him, but fails because of inadequate trackside equipment. If that aspect of motor-racing repels you, then you definitely shouldn’t watch this.
However, Life on the Limit doesn’t glorify death or exploit the flinch-inducing footage. Instead it uses these examples to illustrate how the drivers’ movement and the F1 organisers gradually moved away from the ‘devil may care’ gentleman-racer free-for-all that initially existed and which relentlessly killed drivers and spectators every season. Using interviews with key figures, some retired and other still involved in F1, the film shows how that loss of life and injury became unacceptable and it explains much about the background to modern grand Prix competition. The film of drivers and mechanics hammering plainly ineffectual ‘safety barriers’ back together just prior to a race was a shocking eye-opener about just how offhand some circuits were about safety in the 1960s and 70s.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
I am not a Formula 1 fan but I love history so this appealed to me for that reason. It starts at the Melbourne Grand Prix of 1996 where Martin Brundle had an horrific crash but survived almost unscathed - the car was completely totalled. Then it takes us back to the very beginning and we get a whistle stop tour - well it was always going to have speed involved - of the `Golden Era' of F1.

This is not just about the drivers either; we get to hear from family members like James Hunt's son and wives etc. Also we get the men behind the sport which has to include Bernie Eccelstone and Colin Chapman, the man behind Lotus. We go through the highs and lows, the developments that took speed further and the negligence of track owners and organisers as to the safety of the drivers and the spectators. The names of the participants read as a veritable who's who of the motor racing world. We have Nicki Lauda, Jackie Stewart, Michael Schumacher, Emmerson Fitipaldi and both Damon Hill and his father to name but a few.

There is oodles of archive footage as well as contemporary interviews and an awful lot of honesty about just how unprofessional some of the behind the scenes antics were. It all makes for fascinating stuff. Whilst a lot of aspects of F1 are covered the controversy around sponsorship and moreover tobacco sponsorship is never alluded to. Whilst that may never have been part of the remit, it would have been nice for the juxtaposition of asking for health and safety in the sport to be taken seriously whilst promoting a product with known health issues. Still this was a different age with very different values and the development of the cars is also fascinating, with wings etc all adding to the increased speeds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Covering similar ground but a much wider period as the BBC's excellent GRAND PRIX THE KILLER YEARS, a documentary, Paul Crowder's 1: Life on the Limit benefits from a much wider pool of archive footage and interviewees courtesy of the blessing of Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Association but delivers a much more superficial, unnuanced and unfocussed look at Formula One's evolution from a sport of almost gentlemen amateurs where every month there would be fatalities - sometimes spectators as well as drivers - to one where there hasn't been a death since 1994 (as long as you're only counting drivers and spectators). It takes a while to get an idea of where the film is even going, starting off with a half hearted potted history of the sport when the British were mocked by the all-conquering Italians as garage-istas before the advances in technology driven by teams like Lotus meant that the cars were going twice as fast on tracks that weren't safe at any speed finally gives it some momentum.

Unfortunately it's here that it becomes apparent that speed is more important than detail for Crowder: extracts are kept short, the editing fast (but not incomprehensible), interviews brief to keep things moving and sexy, ironically leaving it with more in common with the organisers and officials who were so cavalier about safety for so long and who regarded danger as one of the sport's big selling points - it's just too afraid of losing its audience's interest if it stops too long to consider the story it races through.
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