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  #51  
Old 11-18-2019, 06:55 PM
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So does anyone know what became of the douche-bag Ford exec? I kept hoping that Shelby would tell him he was fired and Henry would back him up.
Here's a surprise twist I bet you never saw coming - IRL Beebe wasn't the douche portrayed in the movie. He was II's "fixer". they worked together during the war. He wasn't threatened by Shelby. Was he really a jerk, though? Who can say.

The finish at Le Mans was not solely Beebe's fault, and if you look at the actual finish photo McClaren crossed ahead of Miles anyway, so the question was moot.
  #52  
Old 11-18-2019, 07:10 PM
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The finish at Le Mans was not solely Beebe's fault, and if you look at the actual finish photo McClaren crossed ahead of Miles anyway, so the question was moot.
From the link at the bottom of the previous page:

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Maybe Miles eased up too much, maybe team rival Bruce McLaren hit the pedal too hard. Reports and opinions vary. In any event, McLaren’s car passed Miles, robbing him of a potentially historic triple crown...

Personal feelings muddied the water. The unpredictable Miles was not Beebe’s favorite driver. Beebe, in fact, had admonished Miles and other Ford drivers during Le Mans for racing too hard for the lead after the Italians had dropped out. He didn’t want to risk a wreck that would have diminished the company’s dominant achievement. Beebe acknowledged that he gave the order for a three-way finish, but claimed afterward he had no idea it would cost Miles the win.

A book about the race called Ford: The Dust and the Glory by Leo Levine, which includes extensive interviews with Beebe, quotes him as saying (when he learned that a tie would relegate Miles to second place) “Oh my God, that’s not what we wanted it all.”
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:16 PM
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Wait... What... we can't take everything we see in movies at face value? MIND BLOWN!!

I'm still sure someone had the opinion that he was a douche for him to be shown this way in the film.
  #54  
Old 11-18-2019, 08:13 PM
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Wait... What... we can't take everything we see in movies at face value? MIND BLOWN!!
Yeah, a movie made people think Gus Grissom screwed the pooch too.
  #55  
Old 11-19-2019, 07:53 AM
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Yeah, a movie made people think Gus Grissom screwed the pooch too.
That one pisses me off more. The Right Stuff (film) really didn't like astronauts, and to slander the dead guy is really bad.

(For the record for non-space heads, Gus was the commander of the first Gemini mission. If NASA thought he was unreliable, they wouldn't have given him that job. I suspect he might have been commanding the first lunar landing mission, too, or at least on it, but who knows.)
  #56  
Old 11-19-2019, 11:35 PM
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In case anyone's confused: This is about sports car racing (with fenders), not Gran Prix (no fenders).
  #57  
Old 11-20-2019, 12:12 AM
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That one pisses me off more. The Right Stuff (film) really didn't like astronauts, and to slander the dead guy is really bad.
It's not the movie that's responsible for this, it's the book that it was based on, written by Tom Wolfe. It's an interesting book but it seems to me that Wolfe was just desperate for some kind of controversial angle on Grissom's mission and so he leaned into the idea that Gus made the wrong call. Obviously he was not inside the capsule with the guy, so it's just conjecture anyway.
  #58  
Old 11-20-2019, 08:29 AM
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It's not the movie that's responsible for this, it's the book that it was based on, written by Tom Wolfe. It's an interesting book but it seems to me that Wolfe was just desperate for some kind of controversial angle on Grissom's mission and so he leaned into the idea that Gus made the wrong call. Obviously he was not inside the capsule with the guy, so it's just conjecture anyway.
I haven't read the book in decades, so if that is in there, amend my post to remove (the film).

Considering the film never got the meaning of the title correct, I just figured they didn't keep the Gus parts of the book the same either.
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Old 11-24-2019, 11:56 PM
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I'm a racing fan (F1 and IndyCar) and have done some non-competitive track driving, and I enjoyed it. I knew a little about the story and learned a little more.

ISTR hearing, before seeing it, that it had no CGI, but as I was watching I was 95% sure there had to be some, based on otherwise impossible camera moves. I'd be interested in being proven wrong, if anyone finds out.

As someone with some track driving experience there were a number of things that struck me as mildly to wildly wrong. I thought Miles was being unrealistically rough on his shifter, but since I'm no expert in cars of this vintage, I could be wrong. Anyone know?

One thing I'm more sure was wrong was the way the drivers looked at each other when they were side-by-side or passing: they'd slowly turn their heads and lock eyes for a second or two. While traveling at nearly 200 mph! At that speed you're covering a football field every second! No one looks away that long -- or at all -- at that speed.

The most egregious and annoying was a common Hollywood racing trope: two cars are racing neck-and-neck, when one slams the pedal to the floor and passes the other. WTF? You were running alongside this guy for 10-20 seconds, straining every muscle, and you weren't at full throttle?
  #60  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:03 AM
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The most egregious and annoying was a common Hollywood racing trope: two cars are racing neck-and-neck, when one slams the pedal to the floor and passes the other. WTF? You were running alongside this guy for 10-20 seconds, straining every muscle, and you weren't at full throttle?
While I absolutely HATE that trope, along with the "upshift and accelerate faster" one, it at least makes sense in the context of the movie - running the engines too high led to increased wear and tear, something to be avoided at all costs considering the time period and race. You simply didn't redline the engine, for fear of 'splosions. Though I don't know, but I would guess rev limiters weren't around in the 60s. Simply put, if you put the pedal all the way to the floor, you could blow your engine - coincidentally, what happened to the lead Ferrari in the movie.

Last edited by Chisquirrel; 11-25-2019 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Missed a nut
  #61  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:30 AM
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My favorite stop after seeing movies based on true stories is History vs Hollywood. It often answers all my little queries. As it did for this one.
  #62  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:48 AM
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If you're interested in the actual story, there's an excellent documentary on Prime/Netflix right now called "The 24 Hour War": https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4875844/
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:27 AM
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If you're interested in the actual story, there's an excellent documentary on Prime/Netflix right now called "The 24 Hour War": https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4875844/
Excellent recommendation!

And the first talking head in the film is A. J. Baime, who wrote the book I referenced upstream.
  #64  
Old 11-28-2019, 12:47 AM
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While I absolutely HATE that trope, along with the "upshift and accelerate faster" one, it at least makes sense in the context of the movie - running the engines too high led to increased wear and tear, something to be avoided at all costs considering the time period and race. You simply didn't redline the engine, for fear of 'splosions.
RACING CARS by Piero Casucci (1980) mentions the 1966 Indy race re: the Lola-Fords, with Ford-Cosworth mills similar to the Ford GT-40. "Jackie Stewart almost won the 500 that year. He was in the lead ten laps from the finish, but a sudden drop in oil pressure forced him to switch the engine off (at that time the engine cost $26,000)." With inflation, that's about $205k now. Yes, switch it off! Sure, the 1st-place purse was substantial, but it's zero if you don't finish because the engine goes kablooey.
  #65  
Old 11-28-2019, 01:21 AM
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at that time the engine cost $26,000)
Incidentally, there is a 'perfect replica' Porsche 550 Spyder. It seems the only way to tell it from an original is by the serial number. The engine is an original Porsche 550 Spyder 4CAM. The engine alone costs almost $500,000.
  #66  
Old 12-01-2019, 11:45 PM
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Ford v Ferrari
A review by Johnny L.A.


Good movie. Nice cars.
There seemed to be a bit on an anti-MG feeling to it; at the beginning, anyway.

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The most egregious and annoying was a common Hollywood racing trope: two cars are racing neck-and-neck, when one slams the pedal to the floor and passes the other. WTF? You were running alongside this guy for 10-20 seconds, straining every muscle, and you weren't at full throttle?
That drove me nuts, too. Why do directors think that racing drivers are keeping some speed in reserve, and the winner is the one who decides to go faster at just the right time? It's a race; they're already going as fast as they can. And does there always have to be a pass between the final turn and the finish line?

For the ultimate in car-geek cred, did anyone notice if they were spinning the knockoffs the right direction depending on which side of the car they were on?
  #67  
Old 12-02-2019, 10:03 AM
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There seemed to be a bit on an anti-MG feeling to it; at the beginning, anyway.
I should remember the cars at the beginning, in the scene in Ken Miles's shop. I don't remember what the customer was driving, nor what the car was on the lift. I think one of them was an MG. I don't think that scene was 'anti-MG'. I think it was 'anti-people who buy sports cars and don't know how to drive them'. Miles told the customer that the customer didn't need a sports car. The way the customer drives, he needed a family car.
  #68  
Old 12-02-2019, 10:35 AM
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It's a race; they're already going as fast as they can.
Actually, if they are sensible they'll be going as slow as they can.

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I always say that my ideal is to get pole with the minimum effort, and to win the race at the slowest speed possible.
And he's the professor, he should know!
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  #69  
Old 12-03-2019, 08:43 AM
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I should remember the cars at the beginning, in the scene in Ken Miles's shop. I don't remember what the customer was driving, nor what the car was on the lift. I think one of them was an MG. I don't think that scene was 'anti-MG'. I think it was 'anti-people who buy sports cars and don't know how to drive them'. Miles told the customer that the customer didn't need a sports car. The way the customer drives, he needed a family car.
Yeah, the asshole customer at the beginning was driving an MGA 1500; Miles's wife even comments on it. And at the first race at Willow Springs you can overhear someone saying that Ken Miles had been driving "a piece-of-shit MG that he built himself".

C'mon, we all know that the asshole customer would have been driving a Jag.

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Actually, if they are sensible they'll be going as slow as they can.
Yeah, and a good quote from Prost, but I still think the last turn of a 24-hour race is the wrong time to try and find out if you can go a little faster. I'm sure the idea is to try and show the skill of the driver, rather than having a faster car, is what wins him the race. The things that real drivers do (conserving tires, outbraking a rival into a corner, etc.) are harder to show and harder for non-racing-fans to understand. But everybody can understand stepping on the gas pedal to go faster, so that's what they show. I still think it's lazy filmmaking.

In real life, Miles and Lloyd Ruby won the 1966 Daytona 24 Hours by 8 laps.
  #70  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:23 PM
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That drove me nuts, too. Why do directors think that racing drivers are keeping some speed in reserve, and the winner is the one who decides to go faster at just the right time? It's a race; they're already going as fast as they can. And does there always have to be a pass between the final turn and the finish line?
I saw it portrayed as more of a risk-reward type of choice in the movie. You could go at a safe RPM, or you could push above and risk engine failure for some temporary extra speed, which could risk you the whole race. So it's not that they were holding back speed, but they were gambling and trusting the car to be able to handle more than the normal safe limit by pushing it more than they normally should. I don't know enough to know if there's any truth to that with real cars from that period.
  #71  
Old 12-03-2019, 01:05 PM
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I saw it portrayed as more of a risk-reward type of choice in the movie. You could go at a safe RPM, or you could push above and risk engine failure for some temporary extra speed, which could risk you the whole race. So it's not that they were holding back speed, but they were gambling and trusting the car to be able to handle more than the normal safe limit by pushing it more than they normally should. I don't know enough to know if there's any truth to that with real cars from that period.
From what I've heard, endurance racing in that era was very much about getting the most performance without breaking something. Multi-car teams could have one car running a faster pace, another being more gentle on the equipment, and hoping that one of them would win. The movie touches on that just a bit, but not enough. But that strategy plays out over the course of hours; stepping on the gas in the final straightaway is pure Hollywood.

When Ford wanted to engineer the finish at Le Mans, with all their cars crossing the line together, I wonder why they didn't tell their second-place car to slow down. The third-place car was 12 laps behind. They could have gotten the photograph they wanted and not affected the result.

And Miles's son is shown watching the race on TV. I don't remember the 24 Heures du Mans being televised in the States when I was a kid in the '70s. It's only been in the last few years, with the proliferation of cable channels, that I've been able to watch it. Was there any way to follow the race in real time back in 1966?
  #72  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:19 PM
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I found the differences between this film and the doc on Netflix (The 24 Hour War) rather startling. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention in the theater, but I had the impression 1966 was Ford’s La Mans debut. In fact, the GTs were stinking up the course in the two previous years. The other interesting tidbit is that Miles’ car was Ford’s designated “rabbit”. He was supposed to drive hard to wear out the other teams early in the race even at the risk of a poor finish or not finishing at all. No one expected that car to be in the lead on the last lap.
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  #73  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:26 PM
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And Miles's son is shown watching the race on TV. I don't remember the 24 Heures du Mans being televised in the States when I was a kid in the '70s. It's only been in the last few years, with the proliferation of cable channels, that I've been able to watch it. Was there any way to follow the race in real time back in 1966?
The doc I watched noted that 1966 was the first year the race was broadcast live in the US. Kind of a 24 hour TV commercial for Ford.
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  #74  
Old 12-03-2019, 03:26 PM
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Yeah, and a good quote from Prost, but I still think the last turn of a 24-hour race is the wrong time to try and find out if you can go a little faster.
I was being a little bit tongue-in-cheek there to be honest, as was Prost to a certain extent because "as slow as possible" sometimes also means "I can't go any faster". Certainly when you are Senna's teammate.
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  #75  
Old 12-04-2019, 10:03 PM
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I raced a red ‘66 Ford GT-40 back in the late 1960’s. I never lost a race.

Sure, I was only 10 and the car was a slot car, like this. I raced the neighborhood basement track circuit and I kicked ass, until the magnetic engine burned out (it died on the home stretch of my last race).

The Ford GT-40 was a rock star to us pre-adolescent kids back then. I look forward to seeing the movie.
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  #76  
Old 12-08-2019, 12:06 PM
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The doc I watched noted that 1966 was the first year the race was broadcast live in the US. Kind of a 24 hour TV commercial for Ford.

The full 24 hours? That amazes me. I was just getting into racing back then and mostly Indy cars but the only races I can even remember being on TV here were Indy and the Daytona 500. It boggles the mind that with only 3 national broadcast channels back then, one of them would have given up a full day of programming for "just a car race". Did Ford have that much clout? Or that much money?

I'm wondering if maybe they just broadcast the start and finish live? Even today, the nighttime hours are hardly ever shown live even by second-tier sports channels, and there wasn't anything like that back then. And there isn'isn't much to see when cars are on an unlit road course at night.
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  #77  
Old 12-08-2019, 05:02 PM
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My $0.02, another Boys-with-Toys movie that's all about gearheads with very little real characterization. Bale comes off best, mostly because of the scenes with the son, but the movie managed to be both "exciting" (in a propulsive, visceral way) and incredibly boring, with every rebel/underdog trope getting hit, beat by familiar beat. The night driving stuff was genuinely terrifying but ultimately, the final product was incredibly forgettable to these eyes. Still, I expect it will walk away with an Oscar or two (most notably, the Editing and Sound categories, which Grand Prix won 50 years earlier).

It was a good reminder that Ray McKinnon should really be cast in everything, if that were somehow possible. He always delivers the goods.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:07 PM
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ISTR hearing, before seeing it, that it had no CGI, but as I was watching I was 95% sure there had to be some, based on otherwise impossible camera moves. I'd be interested in being proven wrong, if anyone finds out.
Given that the film was just shortlisted by the Visual Effects branch of the Academy for the Oscar, that's almost certainly untrue. While there may still be a lot of practical effects, no film ascends to that status in the awards campaign without some significant (if invisible) CG.
  #79  
Old Today, 01:09 AM
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Hmmm, saw this one this weekend. The weird, nonsensical quote about 7000 RPM just kind of boggled my mind. Someone who has driven a car should have talked them out of including it. Even if Shelby did actually say it (and if he did, I'd lay down money he was on mushrooms), it's bad poetry at best. If he had a good poem in him, it was the one liner "My name is Carroll Shelby, and performance is my business."

It was good technically, the race scenes were pretty well done (Shelby saying "now" when he probably couldn't see that part of the track was silly, though), and the story was actually pretty good for a racing movie. But repeating that nonsense quote and making the Ford folks so petty and 2d against their own race team made it a much worse movie.
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