Hi. I'm back.
Got married between my last appearance & now.
Me and Mrs. Jensen went to see the movie last night. And you know what? I never thought I'd find myself defending Lee Iacocca, but that movie just did *not* do him justice.
Or Leo Beebe.
I mean, criminy, one of the advantages all the Ford factory teams had at Le Mans was that all of them had Holman-Moody trained pit crews. And that was a Ford corporate (i.e. Leo Beebe) decision.
But I have to say, the main reason why I went to see it was Christian Bale as Ken Miles. That was an absolutely inspired bit of casting.
Little details were great. They nailed Enzo Ferrari--honestly, I think he was more spot on than Hank the Deuce. Sets were fantastic. Loved the lit up Esso "Oil Drop Man" south of the main grandstands.
Because of all that attention to detail, it was a bit jarring when they used doctored up GT-40s for the J-Car and Mark IV, because I'd have to think that, as cheap as a fiberglass mockup would be for cars that didn't have to do much actual driving, they could've gone the extra mile. But you're talking what? One out of a thousand movie viewers that are going to catch that?
It was also weird that they recreated Miles' Daytona GT-40 with an absolutely impressive attention to detail, yet Hansgen's car was way off.
I mean, I can kind of understand why they'd do that. The whole point of the scene seems to be suggesting that Leo Beebe got Holman-Moody involved because he didn't trust Shelby, so it helps 'tell' that story if the GT-40s look very different.
But during the actual race, Hansgen's GT-40 looked just like Miles'. In fact, I'm about 99.99% positive that the red stripes on Miles' car, the green stripes on Hansgen's, and Gurney's blue stripes (as well as the large circles applied to other cars) were done before the race because the cars were numbered sequentially in the 90s, were otherwise identical, and the bright colored patches would make them easier to identify. The colors were only applied on the infield sides of the cars.
Of course, showing mostly identical cars would make it harder to believe that HM & Shelby were at odds with each other. It would almost look like HM & Shelby were part of a coordinated factory effort..... 😮
I was not expecting much from Matt Damon as Shelby--I figured he was too much of a real-life character for Hollywood, that they would've turned him into a caricature, but Damon's actually pretty restrained.
And that scene where Carroll sells the same Cobra three times---I mean that, in a nutshell, was ol' Shel. He bit off more than he could chew with the Le Mans efforts, but there's no way on Earth Ford would have won at Le Mans without him. Ken Miles' death hit him hard too. Robert Lane met Shelby once, with a friend of his. Robert told his friend not to make a fool out of himself, and they had barely started talking when his friend said, 'What happened to Ken Miles?' and Shelby said, "The goddamn car just broke up on him" and turned around and walked away.
Thoroughly enjoyed most of the movie. They went to such lengths to get certain things right, so I found the deliberate mischaracterizations (and outright bungling of facts, like Ken Miles being kept back from Le Mans in '65) jarring--kind of takes you out of the moment.