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Rush: The ultimate Formula One film

Updated on July 10, 2015

A long-awaited movie from Ron Howard

I can't quite remember when we Formula One fans first heard rumors of a new forthcoming film about our sport. There have been several films made about Formula One but few have been stunning, to say the least.

Yet we heard that this was being made by Ron Howard so,we thought, it would be different. We were right; this is a film that is simply brilliant.

James Hunt and Niki Lauda.The rivalry

In the nineteen-seventies, Formula One racing was still incredibly dangerous and maybe for that reason, there were some astonishing characters in the sport. As Ron Howard says himself, in those days 'motor racing was dangerous and sex was safe'. (Although I believe that Jackie Stewart said this first).

James Hunt was a laconic, vaguely upper-class Englishman who defied convention and flaunted the rules. Niki Lauda was (and remains) a precise, business-like much loved Austrian driver. The rivalry between the two in the nineteen seventies became legendary.

As Ron Howard says in the video below, no-one would believe it if it was a fictional story.

Two legends

The two men also became legends in their own right. Hunt, who was the sort of guy who would go to formal functions dressed in jeans, t-shirt and no shoes, was the playboy type who was often photographed in the pit lane enjoying a cigarette before a race. It's more than likely that sometimes he'd had a drink too.

Lauda became a legend when he suffered the most horrendous racing accident. His car was soon engulfed by flames and the driver suffered extreme injuries and burns. We were beyond amazed when he returned to racing just six weeks after the accident.(Yes, six weeks - that is not a typo.)


Later

James Hunt became a very popular commentator who, along with another legend - Murray Walker - commentated on Formula one races until he tragically died from a heart attack at the totally ridiculous age of forty five. Niki Lauda is still a major player in Formula One and is currently chairman of the Mercedes team.

Acting and production

When I watched this film the acting was uncanny. It was hard to understand that I wasn't watching a documentary. Everything about this film is no less than superb

Sean Edwards
Sean Edwards | Source

A tragic footnote

When Niki Lauda had his terrible accident, safety standards at race circuits was lax to say the least. It was fellow drivers who pulled Lauda out of the wreckage of his shattered racing car. One of those was English driver Guy Edwards.

When Rush was made, Guy's son Sean, by now a professional racing driver himself, helped with the racing scenes and also portrayed his own father in the film.

Just a few weeks after the film was released in September 2013, Guy was killed at a racing circuit in Australia. He was twenty six.

See the trailer and more

See fascinating interviews and movie clips.

Niki Lauda in 2013 talking about the film. Bear in mind that he is not a young man - he was born in 1949.

He explains that he'd been approached several times in the past about a film but this was the first time he'd considered it.

Watch a great interview with the actors. Both are totally brilliant. They also seem to have a certain camaraderie.

What is particularly interesting to me are their accents. The actor who plays James Hunt (seated on the right in the video) sounded incredibly like James in the movie. Yet he has a strong Australian accent tinged with American

Niki Lauda is Austrian and his accent is pronounced. Yet the actor who played him is German - se we have a German actor speaking English with an Austrian accent. That'squite a feat.

Footage from 1976. Note that after the race Hunt lights a cigarette in the pit lane! (Includes interviews with both Hunt and Lauda and real footage of Lauda's accident).

Senna [Blu-ray]
Senna [Blu-ray]

The other essential Formula One movie - another legend. Like Rush, this is a must for all fans of the sport. There's plenty of genuine racing footage and lots of details Senna and his life that ended so tragically at Imola in 1994.

 

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Old Navy Guy: Good to hear from you. I haven't heard about the racer you mentioned - I must look him up. It brings back memories to me of British driver Peter Procter who was so badly burned.Safety was so lax in those days. I hope you enjoy the movie - I'm sure you will.

    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 3 years ago

      Nice look back. I followed Formula 1 racing in the 70's and watched both of their careers and was shattered when Niki was trapped in his race car and burned so badly. It brought back memories of a locl racer I grew up around, Salt Walther who burned to death at the Indianapolis 500. Thank you for a frank report on the movie. I shall go see the movie now, as it sounds as if it may be true to the history. Cheers.

    • profile image

      AmyBlakeney 3 years ago

      Haven't seen this yet, but SO looking forward to it! Great lens :0)

    • profile image

      Vantis 4 years ago

      I'm not a formula 1 fan, but I like the Thor movies, and I'm pretty curious how the God of Thunder drives a race-car :) nice lens though

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Looking forward to seeing this one!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @kju385: It will become a classic, I'm sure.

    • kju385 profile image

      kju385 4 years ago

      One of the best racing movies that I've seen so far. Worth a look definitely...

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: It's really fabulous, Rose. It was only released in September 2013 but I'm sure it will become an award-winner.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      I'm sure this is well worth it - Ron Howard's direction and having actors that are (were) professional drivers. Plus, your endorsement, I'm sure I'll be on the edge of my seat watching this one. Thanks for the review, Jackie.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I guess I'm going to have to give this one a go... I just love Ron Howard Films, Thanks for the review

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I heard about this movie.. and now i want to watch this movie.. Thanks

    • winter aconite profile image

      winter aconite 4 years ago

      Top of my list this Christmas! I've been following F1 since I can remember and Lauda was my hero when I was little. A must watch! Thanks for sharing!