The Movie

"Le Mans" in 1970 is a movie written by Harry Kleiner, produced by Jack N. Reddish and directed by Lee H. Katzin, with original music by Michel Legrand.

The previous films dealing with motor racing had been very disappointing, "Grand Prix" with James Garner in 1966 included.

Directors and actors like Howard Hawks, John Frankenheimer, Paul Newman or Kirk Douglas had broken their teeth there.
  • Director : Lee H. Katzin
  • Screenplay : Harry Kleiner
  • Images : Robert B. Hauser, René Guissart Jr
  • Specials Effects : Sass Bedig
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Le Film
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Germany
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Germany
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Australia
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Australia
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Belgium
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Brazil
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France
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Israel
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Italy
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Italy
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Italy
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Italy
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Italy
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Italy
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Italy
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Italy
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Japan
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Japan
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Japan
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Mexico
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Sweden
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Czechoslovakia
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Turkey
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United States of America
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United States of America
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United States of America
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United States of America
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United States of America
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DVD
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Inconnu
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?
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?
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Thailand
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Roumanie
Comédien Rôle Voiture
Steve McQueen Michael Delaney Driver Porsche 917
Siegfried Rauch Erich Stahler Driver Ferrari 512
Elga andersen Madame Belgetti  
Ronald Leigh Hunt David Townsend Team manager Porsche
Fred Haltiner Johann Ritter Driver Porsche
Luc Merenda Claude Aurac  
Christophe Waite Larry Wilson Driver Porsche
Louise Edlind Anna Ritter  
Angelo Infanti Lugo Abratte Driver Ferrari
Jean-Claude Bercq Paul-Jacques Dion Driver Porsche
Michela Scalera Vito Scalie Driver Ferrari
Ginno Cassani Loretto Fuselli Team manager Ferrari
Alfred Bell Tommy Hopkins Assistant manager Porsche
Carlo Cecchi Paolo Scadenza  
Richard Rüdiger Bruno Frohm  
Jonathan Williams Johnatan Burton Driver Ferrari
Hal Hamilton Chris Barnett Driver Ferrari

Summary

Michael Delaney, an American racing driver played by McQueen, returns to competition a year after being seriously injured in the race.

As he prepares to face his rival, German Erich Stahler, played by sigfried Rauch, as part of the 24 hours of Le Mans, a love story begins with Belgetti's wife, played by the superb Elga Andersen, the pilot who perished the previous year in the accident which McQueen narrowly retreaded.

Steve McQueen's movie

Steve Mc Queen, owned the very best in sports cars and motorcycles, including Jaguar XK-SS built in just 18 units).

He regularly participated in competition at their helm. He will buy a Porche 908, but will take advanced courses with driver Richie Ginther before embarking on big races.

He took part in the Sebring Twelve Hours in March 1970, as a teammate of Peter Revson (F1 driver), on a Porsche 908 and finished 2nd.
For "Le Mans", Steve McQueen was to be the partner of the driver Jackie Stewart, but the insurance companies refused his participation in the car race.

The actor did what he wanted and decided to do what was most important to him: a tribute to motorsport and competition, to the 24 Hours, which he loved above all, and a tribute to the pilots, and their entourage, mechanics, engineers, technicians.

The scenario

Steve McQueen did not write the screenplay, nor direct, but was very involved in the construction of the film, the story, the shooting.

Steve McQueen wanted to present the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the form of a documentary, however CBS, which produced this film, wanted a thriller, to keep spectators on their toes, in the drama genre.

For the start of the film, Steve McQueen and John Sturges (expected to be director) disagreed. Steve McQueen, wanted the film to start 15 minutes before the 4 pm start, John Sturges wanted to install the film by starting the action three or four days before the race.
All his little hassles meant that the shooting of the film began without a script, with the sole purpose of filming the race.

Several writers were involved in writing the script, including Harry Kleiner and Ken Purdy. They worked on the script in a Solar Productions caravan near Le Mans.

This film is not a disaster film, there is no blood, extravagant stunts, the characters are human.

Racing drivers

Steve McQueen will surround himself with professional race technical advisers :
  • Derek Bell, David Piper, Jonathan Wild, Jackie Ickx, Beltoise, Larrousse, Pesca, Jabouille and others...
On the photo opposite we find left to right
  • Mike Parkes, Dieter Spoerry aux lunettes noires, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Gérard Larrousse, David Piper, J.Williams, Steve McQueen, Derek Bell, Masten Gregory, Hughes de Fierlant, Herbert Linge ..and director Lee Katzin with the white bob.
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Drivers
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John Sturges, Derek Bell, Steve McQueen, Richard Attwood
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Steve McQueen, David Piper, Jo Siffert, Derek Bell, ?
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Derek Bell, Brian Redman, Steve McQueen
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Richard Attwood, Steve McQueen, Gérard Crombac
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?, Steve McQueen
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Steve McQueen, Masten Gregory
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David Piper, Steve McQueen

Racing cars

The budget of 5.5 billion francs (at the time) allowed Steve McQueen to rent or buy the best cars, heroines of the 24 Hours, 25 vehicles will be used during this filming, among them :
  • Porsche 917 N°20 (Chassis number 917-22) rented (without engine or transmission) by Jo Siffert to Solar Productions.
  • Porsche 917 N°21 (Chassis number 917-013) belonged to john wyer's team. After the accident in Arnage where David Piper left a leg there. The 917 was rebuilt in 1971 under chassis number 917-034 for Team Gulf John Wyer (but it still bears its 013 plate).
  • Porsche 917 N°22 (Chassis number 917-24) rented by Jo Siffert to Solar Productions.
  • Porsche provides the 917 Longue tail n ° 25 free of charge (Chassis number 917-042) for two weeks of shooting (driven exclusively by Herbert Linge), it is the chassis which retired at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1970 (same decoration).
  • Porsche 908/2 (Chassis number 908-022) of Steve McQueen.
  • Lola T70 Mk III GT (Chassis number SL73/105) was purchased in 1970 by Solar Productions with a body with a 917 body. It will be used for the accident of the 917 at Arnage
  • Lola T70 Mk III GT (Chassis number SL73/132) leased to David Piper will be "transformed" into a Ferrari 512S (N ° 7).
  • Lola T70 Mk III GT (Chassis number SL73/134) sold by classified ads to David Piper who sells it to Solar Productions who disguises it as a Ferrari 512. It will be used to install a camera, then transformed into a Ferrari 512S for the accident (bank in Indianapolis).
  • 4 Ferrari 512S will be present transformed into official cars (N ° 5, 6, 7, 8) :
    • 512S Berlinetta : Chassis number 1004 provided by the Francorchamps team, (N ° 4 or 5 in the film)
    • 512S Berlinetta : Chassis number 1026 provided by the Francorchamps team of Jacques Swaters, piloted by Derek Bell in the film, it is destroyed during the filming, the fire having caught in the cockpit. Derek Bell is burned in the arm. Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason rebuilt it, le feu ayant pris dans le cockpit. Derek Bell est brulé au bras. Nick Mason le batteur de Pink Floyd l'a reconstruite.
    • 512M Berlinetta : Chassis number 1028 provided by the NART team, (N ° 6 or 8 in the film),
    • 512M Berlinetta : Chassis number 1036 supplied (without motor) by the Francorchamps team,
  • Ford GT 40 (Chassis number 1074), transformed with the installation of 2 cameras.
  • Chevron (Chassis number B16S-70-01 ?), Corvette leased from Jo Siffert, and the services of several race mechanics.
  • Matra MS650 loaned by Matra and driven exclusively by Jean-Pierre Jabouille..
  • Matra, Alfa Romeo, Sonauto, Greder Racing and a few others will also supply cars.
Between the shots, the cars will be maintained in an Arnage garage. Andrew Ferguson, ex-manager of Ecurie Lotus, is hired to oversee all technical aspects related to the use of racing cars.

Some were put up for sale after the shooting.

Cars Camera

GT 40 Spyder !!

Of all these cars, the most amazing is a Ford GT 40 (Chassis number 1074) bought from John Wyer and transformed into a Spyder. It is equipped with a 35mm Arriflex camera installed in a turret behind the driver in the center of the car.

This GT 40 was driven by Jonathan Williams and Rob Slotemaker. These appendages (camera) made it difficult to drive.

The camera (which can rotate 180 ° to film overtaking cars) is controlled by the cameraman seated to the left of the driver. He can view the shots on a monitor placed above those knees. A Mitchell camera was also attached to the left door side.
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GT40 Spyder
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GT40 Spyder
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GT40 Spyder
Porsche 908

For the racing scenes, the production will enter at the 24 Hours of 1970 a Porsche 908/02 (No. 29) equipped, for the first time in history, with an on-board camera. Hired by Solar Productions and managed by Jonathan Williams and Herbert Linge, it will not be classified due to insufficient distance traveled.

It was also present at the tests days 1970 of April 11 and 12, under N ° 48..
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Porsche 908
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Porsche 908
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Porsche 908
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Porsche 908
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Porsche 908
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3 Porsche 917s in the production garage in Arnage during filming
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Porsche 917
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Two Porsche GULF in front of the hotel de France in La Chartre before the 24h of 1970
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Ferrari 512 in the rain
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Pit stop
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Pit stop
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The arrival
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Making of
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Making of
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Making of
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Making of
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Steve McQueen with Juan Manual Fangio
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Ferrari

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