Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cars and Movies

Well, this is a little later than I usually post.  I had to fix the car this morning.  It is well into the 80's today, so I was a bit tired after that.  It's all fixed so now it will pass inspection.  Maybe we should talk about car movies?

The Fast and the Furious, Gone in Sixty Seconds, how about any James Bond film?  I just heard that one of the four original Aston Martin DB5s used in the first Bond films is going up for sale at auction in London.  The owner paid $12,000 for it a while ago and it is expected to sell for $5 million!  Who said not to invest in cars?

Of course, to anyone interested in British cars, The Italian Job (from 1969, not 2003) is one of the best choices, simply because of how it celebrated the Mini.  That's the tiny car you usually see in the circus, and a hundred clowns climb out!  (I guess Italian circuses use Fiats.)  The later version of that movie used the new MINI by BMW, but that one is way too big for Brit car purists.

The best car chase ever filmed is found in Bullitt (1968) starring Steve McQueen.  McQueen usually did his own stunt driving.  He also drove his motorcycle in The Great Escape, when his stunt driver couldn't do a jump as well as McQueen himself.

Paul Newman was also an incredible driver.  Paul was a member of the Sports Car Club of America and he would compete in races frequently.  Joanne Woodward would come with him sometimes and just sit in the stands and watch.  They were apparently just like regular folk at the races, but I never had a chance to meet them.  I was told that Paul would be great to talk to, as long as you treated him like one of the guys.  As soon as you started to push him about his movies, he would shut down!  I can't blame him for having that attitude.  It must be difficult to be so famous.  He had a chance to do something normal where he could be accepted as a racer, so he did.

If you get the chance to see Grand Prix (1966) with James Garner, it is worth the time, as long as you are a car nut.  The racing is superb.  When it was restored, it was shown on the American Movie Classics channel without commercials, and with commentary from Garner.  If that is available on a DVD special edition, it would be worth owning.  Again, IF you are a car nut!  This may be it, but no guarantees, Grand Prix (Two-Disc Special Edition).

Hmmm, no bit actors today, or maybe I am wrong.  The cars are the stars and the rest are bit actors!  Maybe I'll do better tomorrow.  I'll hit the grill to make some dinner, then see what's on TCM!

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