‘Senna’ meets ‘Bullitt’ in Steve McQueen: THE MAN & LE MANS; an extraordinary, moving, white-knuckle drive with one of the greatest movie stars of all time, and the film that almost destroyed him.
By 1970, Steve McQueen ruled Hollywood. Hot off the back of classics ‘The Magnificent Seven’, ‘The Great Escape’, ‘The Cincinnati Kid’ and ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’, McQueen made an indelible mark as the maverick cop in ‘Bullitt’ – the movie that made car chases a staple of the movie industry. He was at the top of his game, commanding respect and wielding power; securing a six-picture deal with Cinema Center Studios which allowed McQueen to work for himself, choose his own material and reap the benefits.
And at last he could make the film that had been his passion for the best part of a decade. McQueen was a racing fanatic, and his film would center around the greatest test of driving skill in the world – a 24-hour race in France called LE MANS.
And so began a life-changing 6 months for McQueen, both on set and off it. In the middle of filming the most dangerous car race movie of all time, legendary director John Sturges quit, McQueen’s marriage fell apart and his company was on the brink of bankruptcy; and all the while he was in constant fear for his life after learning that he was on the top of Charles Manson’s ‘death list’.
The film interweaves original insight and revelation with a remarkable sound archive – as well as hours of never-before-seen film that has remained, until now, untouched in a Parisian basement. THE MAN & LE MANS takes the viewer inside the mind of this driven, complex movie idol as he fought to save his film – set to the soundtrack of his own voice.
“If we’re going to do this, we are going to do it right. No typical Hollywood bullshit – no clever twists, no perfect ending. It has to be pure. And if we’re going to do it about one race, it has to be Le Mans” - Steve McQueen