May 25, 2011


Steve McQueen's classic racing film, Le Mans (1971), was released yesterday on Blu-ray. The movie's focus on the experience of the race from the driver's seat, while deemphasizing dialog, gives it a kind of poetry and lasting quality. Just check out the beginning of the race below. Pure cinema. Robert Siegel has posted an excellent essay about the film at here. Additional Blu-ray review here. Le Mans is on sale at Amazon for $17.99 here. Vroom!


  1. My review of this movie is: Steve McQueen drives a race car without a plot. The racing was cool.

  2. I have this film in my DVD library but have a few problems with it. The most surprising (given that it was all but officially directed by McQueen himself) was with Steve.

    Steve McQueen, like Paul Newman before him, always seemed to be the epitome of ‘cool’ in his various roles. In Le Mans however, he appears to be ‘trying’ to be cool, which of course is the most un-cool thing possible. There is also little chemistry between McQueen, his antagonist/archrival, or between McQueen and the female lead.

    In addition, Le Mans blatantly ‘borrowed’ a number of elements from John Frankenheimer’s 1966 film Grand Prix, including the ‘heartbeat’ sound used just prior to the start of the race.

    The period race footage is excellent, but as motor racing films go, Grand Prix remains my favorite.


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