The film follows the fate of four Formula One drivers through one Gran Prix season:
Jean-Pierre Sarti (played by Montand) - a Frenchman, last year's world champion who runs into some bad luck
Pete Aron (played by Garner) - an American, who is on the come-back trail
Scott Stoddard (played by Bedford) - an Englishman, recuperating from an almost fatal crash
Nino Barlini (played by Sabato) - an Italian, a promising rookie
Sub-plots revolve around the woman who try to live with these men with such dangerous life-styles. Toshiro Mifune has a supporting role as a race team owner. As expected with Frankenheimer, terrific racing cinematrography is the main draw of the film.
She played Kitty, the American visitor to Israel, and sometimes in GRANDPRIX she seems to be channeling all of "Kitty's" mannerisms, for both parts allow the US viewer to somehow enter, through her eyes, a complicated and complex European social system we might otherwise fail to register with.
GRANDPRIX also includes the amazing photography of Lionel Linden, a wonderful musical score by Maurice Jarre, and brilliant editing by a team lead by Henry Berman.
Like, a previous viewer - I was privileged to see GRANDPRIX several times during its initial release (in my case at the Cinerama dome in Hollywood) where the 70 mm Cinerama print, the projection, the sound, and the screen allowed the optimal presentation of the film.
If I remember correctly the movie opens at the Monaco GrandPrix and you had the illusion that you were in the car.
I've only ever seen bits and pieces of this movie when it's been on TV, since it came out before I was born, and I ALWAYS miss the beginning - I'm 37 now, and STILL haven't seen the whole movie, but watch as much as I can whenever it's playing on cable.
GrandPrix was the first time I had actually seen what it was all about.
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