Anyone remember the Cheech and Chong bit when they’re looking for a spot at the drive-in and Pedro zooms into a space by the snack bar? “Wow, man, you drive just like Steve McQueen!” the Man exults. Well, few if any did. From that pilfered German motorcycle in The Great Escape to the fastback Mustang in Bullitt, McQueen handling a vehicle was movie magic. But racing fans still covet his role in the 1971 film Le Mans, which used real footage of the previous year’s 24-hour marathon ride — in which McQueen had hoped to compete as the partner of reigning F1 world champ Jackie Stewart. But their entry was denied. Instead, he set out to make a great film about motor racing.
Here’s a trailer for Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, a documentary that premiered at Cannes last year about the making of that G-rated (!) film. From financial strife and on-set rivalries to McQueen’s personal issues, the troubled production was infamous. The film pairs newly discovered footage and the star’s private recordings with original interviews about one of the world’s most popular actors chasing his redline dream. “I don’t think there is any race car driver who can really tell you why he races,” McQueen says in the trailer. “But I think he can probably show you.”
FilmRise will open Content Media’s Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans on November 13 in LA and NYC, followed by a December 1 home video/VOD release. Until then, let’s throw this out there: Fellow racer Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood notwithstanding, is Steve McQueen the coolest movie star ever?
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