Rush: The ultimate Formula One film
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.
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.)
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
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).
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.
- Triumph & Tragedy in Formula One: The Memoirs of Sid...
Professor Sid Watkins is credited with being the man who developed the the safety standards of motorsport today. His actions saved countless lives. Also, as Mark Webber says, he was a good bloke.
- Fifty years of on-board Formula One: DVD
See how Formula One racing has changed over fifty years. In its early days, it was hardly recognisable as the same sport we see today. This is the perfect gift for a Formula One fan.
- Ayrton Senna Remembered
Formula One fans will never forget that day in May 1994 when Ayrton Senna lost his life at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. A small tribute.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson