Movie Review: Grand Prix (1966)

Movie, on DVD since 2006, conveys the general worldly ambitions of the times
Reviewed by Brian R. Wright

Review originally posted, July 2007.

When this movie came to the big screen it came to the BIG SCREEN. In 1966 I’m 17 and easily excited by fast cars in exotic places with beautiful people, so Grand Prix filled the bill for my viewing pleasure in every way. Didn’t know anything about acting or directing, what it takes to put a movie together, and I knew precious little about racing. But I recall hearing raves on the movie’s incredible authenticity of Formula One racing as it was carried out in those days.

Like, say, The Titanic or Star Wars, Grand Prix needed and needs to be seen on the big screen with all the technical wizardry that widescreen visuals and multiphonic sound provide. When I first gazed up at the opening credits where the projector generates successive screen splits of various mechanical images of the cars, all with the roaring and revving of highly tuned engines, I was hooked.

It didn’t really matter that the plot was a little weak off the track (though thoroughly believable by modern soap opera standards). The motivations were clear enough and in retrospect I see so many real persons I know in the boiled-down characters… for example, my sister is (was) a dead ringer for the Jessica Walter character and I’m convinced the Eva Marie Saint part was written for my S.O. (significant other). Continue reading