08th Jun2017

‘Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf


If you are a fan of movie history, you often read about actors and directors who had their obsessions. For Steve McQueen, his obsession was with speed, and the movie Le Mans. In the new documentary Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans we get to look behind the movie and hear the story of the making of the film from the people who made it.

Using unseen footage of the making of the Le Mans, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans gives us a glimpse at not only the making of the film, but also the obsession of Steve McQueen. A man obsessed with speed, Le Mans was a pet project that he wanted to make, that showed the speed of the race, and the danger.

It is well documented how Steve McQueen loved racing, he even took part in the Le Mans race and managed to come second. This is where his desire to make the film came from. The problem was that other than the race itself and the indicatively filmed footage of the racing, what the film really lacked was a script.

What is fascinating about Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is getting to hear from people like Chad McQueen talking about his father. This allows the audience to get a real taste of how the obsession shaped the making of the film, the other side of the man himself, and the darker side of fame. We also see how McQueen’s obsession also took hold of his son, and the price he paid in his life too.

Where the documentary could have just given the rose-tinted view of Steve McQueen, we are shown his other side. From womanising and dangerous driving, we see the risks he took not only with the film, but with his own life and those around him.  What this does though is to give the film more authenticity.

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans isn’t just about the making of Le Mans, it looks at what Steve McQueen went through at the time of production. This includes how the Tate-Labianca murders had an effect on his life. The fact he was on a hit list created by Charles Manson, and McQueen had been invited to be at the Tate house at the time of the murders understandably hit him hard.

Steve McQueen is a Hollywood legend, so any chance we get to see the man behind the glamour will always be interesting. The fact we get to hear from his own family gives us more insight. The fact that Le Mans became such a loved movie, when it could have been such a failure is testament to the dream he had for the film, and of course the production team that helped get a story into the film and pull it all together.

Looking at the documentary and who to recommend it to, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, this is obviously a choice for fans of the film and Steve McQueen himself. It is also a documentary that film fans will love, especially with the amount of footage of the making, and of Steve McQueen himself. A film that had a lasting effect on the man and his health, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans shows just where obsession can lead.

***** 5/5

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.

Originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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