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Film / Le Mans

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Le Mans is a 1971 film directed by Lee H. Katzin with a soundtrack by Michel Legrand.

Steve McQueen stars as racing car driver Michael Delaney, who has gotten into a serious accident at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race (hence the title). He seeks to prove himself at the next Le Mans and defeat his arch rival Eric Stahler.


  • Author Appeal:
    • Steve McQueen really raced endurance cars in real life, including at Sebring, so this film is a big expression of love for his hobby.
    • He wanted to race in Le Mans the year he filmed the movie, but the production company nixed the idea. The camera car at Le Mans itself was driven by other people; McQueen filmed his footage in other locations or at Le Mans itself after the race had ended. There have been rumors that McQueen clandestinely drove the camera car for one or more stints during the night sequences.
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  • Badass Driver: Delaney and Stahler are suggested to be a cut above the other drivers in the race.
  • Car Porn: The film is renowned for its lack of dialogue and focus on the actual racing.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: The upside-down V hand sign McQueen does in the film. It can be considered an insult in some English-speaking countries. Although Stahler's reaction shows that he is well aware of how the gesture is meant.
  • Fragile Speedster: Both the Porsche and Ferrari cars are largely destroyed when crashed (although replicas were used for filming the crashes as the real cars were far too precious to be crashed).
  • Scenery Porn: Both of France's countryside and of its cities, this movie can feel downright existentialist at times.
  • '70s Hair: McQueen's haircut as Delaney has aged more than his 1960s look.
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  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Some of the jazzy fusion music over the montages of badass racing cars seems a bit odd.