America’s love affair with American made cars shifted into another gear when the Ford Mustang, Cobra, GT, and the Chevy Corvette came to the fore in the 60s. This particular movie is in part about that, but more than anything it’s about Henry Ford Jrs’ desire to beat Ferrari in various big races, particularly the 24 Hours of LeMan. This movie focuses on the true story of Carroll Shelby a car designer, and former LeMan racer himself, and his friend Ken Miles, a Brit who was a world class race car driver. In one sense, this is a buddy movie, and Matt Damon and Christian Bale are great as the principals. Bale says after playing heavy set Dick Cheney in Vice, he had to lose 70 pounds to do this role, and that takes a big toll on one’s body. The movie develops slowly and is 2 hours and 30 some minutes long, but it never loses focus or lacks for interesting chemistry between the two principles. You’re really not going to much like most of the Ford suits in this film, but the real life story is that Ford won LeMan in 1966,67,68, and 69 (and never again) thanks to the design and efforts of Shelby, and in 1966 due to the racing of— well I’ll let you guess.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film with many racing scenes that one had a hard time imagining how they filmed. Those scenes were exciting, and even scarily realistic. It does not make one want to become a race car driver. I recommend this movie as an enjoyable film at several levels— about hard work, friendship, perseverance, and overcoming big odds. It’s an American kind of film….. as American as our love for cars.