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Grand Prix (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

Price: £19.95
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Product details

  • Actors: James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand, Toshirô Mifune, Brian Bedford
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Producers: Edward Lewis
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Whv
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Oct. 2006
  • Run Time: 176 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,096 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Academy Award winning drama starring James Garner. American Grand Prix driver Pete Aron (Garner) is fired by his Jordan-BRM racing team after a crash at Monaco injures his British teammate, Scott Stoddard (Brian Bedford). While Stoddard struggles to recover, Aron begins to drive for the Japanese Yamura team, and becomes romantically involved with Stoddard's estranged wife.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
Forty years on, Grand Prix is still the best motor racing film ever made. The cars may be faster now, filming techniques improved and special effects more advanced, yet the film still has a truly epic scale and a feeling of veracity down to the last gear change that would be impossible to duplicate today. It feels real because much of it is real, the actors (with the exception of Brian Bedford) doing much of the driving themselves, with the production even entering cars in real races to seamlessly match footage. The real danger is only underlined by the fact that so many of the professional drivers in the film died racing themselves (ten in the decade following the filming alone). The crashes are there, along with the knowledge that that's what many in the crowd come for, but more than that, each race has a different character: more than just a different look, they're almost tone poems at times, one race from the driver's seat, another from a spectator's, another almost inside a character's head. Yet throughout, unlike later films, you always have a clear idea of what is going on and what point the race scenes are trying to make. The sequences have clearly been thought through and designed both emotionally as well as visually, with the great use of long lenses to establish scale and speed as cars drift in and out of focus giving the film a feel at once realistic and almost dreamlike (an impression further heightened in Saul Bass' almost balletic split-screen sequence). It's still a remarkably good looking film, too, not least because it was made at a time when the cars still looked like bullets rather than vacuum cleaners.Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray
"When I look back, I don't know how the hell we ever did that film." - John Frankenheimer

At 176 minutes, Grand Prix is the very definition of epic, but is so perfectly edited and shot that it never really feels that length. I'm always weary of movies with bloated running times, but Grand Prix even features the 5-minute intermission as seen in theatres, so there's no reason to feel guilty for getting up and stretching your legs a bit.

The film follows four Formula 1 drivers as they question life, chase women, and face a crisis of confidence. It's very Day-of-Thunder-ish, but I guess there's only so much story you can shoehorn in-between racing scenes in a film like this. The documentary feel adds an authentic edge to it, which helps keep a far distance from Tony Scott's similarly-themed disaster.

Shot in 70mm and originally projected in Cinerama (a curved screen for an immersive experience, an early form of IMAX in a way), John Frankenheimer does not hold back and thrusts the audience right into the middle of real races. Up until this point racing movies were mostly b-grade drive-in material with actors shot against a projected backdrop (think of Clark Gable in To Please a Lady) and audiences had never really seen it for real, in color, and especially not from the driver's point-of-view. Some shots are mesmerizing, especially the camera, one inch above the surface of the tarmac, hurtling down the road. Few movies have ever given you this sense of speed. And it's all done for real. I'm not saying that there's no place for CGI in movies, but if you want something to look good, you're going to have to do it the hard way.

Grand Prix deservedly won three Oscars for Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Film Editing.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watching this again 45 years after it was made, and about 35 years since I last saw it, I have to say it is better than I remember. When it was first released, opinion was divided among enthusists, as to whether it was an accurate representation of the grand prix scene, or a film made at grand prix circuits, with a cheesy plot. I have to say I tended to agree with the latter viewpoint. but seeing it again and just viewing it as a piece of cinema its not so bad. The plot revolves around four drivers trying to win the F.1. title, an ageing two time champion getting tired of the 'life', the younger brother of an ex world champion trying to emulate him, a middle aged american getting a last chance with a new Japanese entrant, and a young Italian 'hot-shot. Throw in the emotional complications of the wives - girlfriends and that's the plot. The film was shot during the 1966 grand prix season, and intermixed shots of the actual race with staged sequences, the actors using F.3. cars modified to look like the real thing. Even an enthusiast had to look closely to see the difference. Part of the plot was to highlight the dangers of G.P.racing in the 1960's, and apart from the staged accidents, there is the sequence shot at the Belgian G.P. when a cloud-burst on the first lap caused chaos. A by product of shooting at the circuits are the 'cameos' of the G.P. drivers of the time. A staged shot of a G.P.D.A. meeting at Spa, is a collection of 'ghosts' as a lot of the actual drivers featured were no longer around five years after it was shot. All in all, in retrospect not a bad attempt to portray the excitement, passion and danger of G.P. racing.
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