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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 (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GDEZP70
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 589 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

15 of 15 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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11 of 11 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Richards VINE VOICE on 2 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a big formula 1 fan I was keen to watch this documenary film, but I admit to being slightly underhwlemed by it.

The archive footage is very good indeed, and the "snippets" of achive interview are all very cleverly presented too. The focus of the film seems to be how f1 has evolved since the 50s through to now, but as other reviewers have commented - its seems to lack a clear focus on WHAT has changed.

Its inevitable that not all things could be covered within its 2hr run time, but the mix of safety / brief summary of one or two events over the period leaves the film lacking something. The BBC documentary "f1: the killer years" did a far better job of looking at safety developments in f1 in the 60s/early 70s than this film did, despite that being 45 min long. What I had hoped for in this film was something similar to that, but following the story through in to the late 70s/80s/90s in the extra 1hr 15min that this film has over "the killer years" - it did not.

Focus on some of the key events away from safety such as the 76 season and the oh too brief look at changes made by tv post 76 seem out of place here, (in fact that could be a whole documenty film on its own), and leave me wondering about what the specific point of this documentary was - is it a historical narrative? A safety narrative?

The producers lined up a vast array of f1 stars for interviews, but they have been edited down in such a way as to make them seem to skim over issues and the "snippets" are painfully short to allow / show further elaboration on the issues. The general skimming over of f1 since 1994 was shocking too - Hakkenen's crash in 96 not mentioned, The US GP tyregate not mentioned, etc etc.
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