McQueen: The Man & Le Mans
Hollywood legend with a string of
successful films to his name, Steve
McQueen gained critical acclaim as
an actor; but his first love was motor
racing and he was ruthless in his
ambition to make a film reflecting that
Le Mans was the movie and Steve
McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is a
documentary about the stars struggle
to perfect his dream and the detrimental
affect it was to have on his life...
THE TOP OF HIS CAREER, Hollywood legend Steve McQueen had made his name in such
great films as The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963),
and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968); but his first love racing
spawned an obsession to produce a movie about that passion.
Steve McQueen was born on 24 March, 1930, in Beech Grove, Indiana. His father
abandoned his mother within months of meeting her and the actor, who describes
himself as being "born in the gutter" puts his "no compromise" stand to his
unfortunate start in life.
his unsettled childhood Steve lived for a while with a great uncle who cared
for him, but when his mother remarried he returned to live with her. He was
treated badly by his stepfather and ran away from home, ending up on the streets.
Falling in with the wrong crowd, he was placed in a reform institution.
The Man & Le Mans
is a compulsive,
exciting and stunningly
of the movie star
as he creates
his dream picture of
After leaving the Marine Corps, having joined as a teenager, he attended a New
York acting school thinking it was a good way to meet girls
and began a modest acting career before meeting actress Neile Adams, who helped
him on the first step of the ladder to fame and who was to become his first
Neile and Steve's son Chad, who was to follow his parents into acting, was born
on 28 December, 1960. Although Steve was a good father, he was always a ladies'
man and his marriage suffered as a result of it. Steve's big break came when
he starred in the western series Wanted: Dead or Alive before he went
on to become one of the highest paid stars in the world.
Steve relished his role as the 'maverick cop' in Bullitt, which transformed
him into Hollywood's golden boy by the end of the 1960s. The movie paved the
way for the ever increasingly impossible car chases that feature in many fast-paced
action thrillers today.
Attractive, sexy and talented, cool and dangerous; the actor slipped easily
into each role and was hailed as the world's biggest movie star. But it was
not enough for this charismatic A-lister who was driven in his ambition to make
"the ultimate racing picture".
The legendary Le Mans 24-Hour Race in France was, in 1970, the greatest challenge
for a racing driver's skill and courage. Steve loved driving fast and took the
race as the inspiration for his vision, capturing the exhilaration, the addiction
and the very real dangers of racing and how the sport ensnared the human spirit.
The project was of vital importance to the actor; it meant everything to him.
With the famous and popular Steve McQueen at the helm, the studios believed
that Le Mans would be a huge box office draw, and respected director John Sturges
(The Great Escape; The Magnificent Seven) was to oversee the highly-ambitious
production, with a talented technical team and forty-five of the most high profile
racing drivers in the world.
Steve McQueen was at the height of his career and the film, released in 1971,
could not fail. But it did. Le Mans had become a reality with the star playing
troubled racing driver Michael Delaney, but his dogged determination to break
new cinematic ground and in his search for perfection, Steve McQueen left behind
him a trail of chaos.
He risked his career, his life and the lives of those closest to him. Friendships
were ruined, his marriage ended and he was facing bankruptcy. His obsession
had become a nightmare and he lost so much in the pursuit of his dream.
One of only two British films to receive an Official Selection for the 2015
Cannes Film Festival, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans tells the incredible
true story of the star's all-out effort and his many sacrifices along the way
as that long-held dream that was so close to his heart became a reality.
He believed the only way to explain the excitement of racing was to demonstrate
it and he performed a lot of his own stunts in Le Mans. Although the film was
a box office flop, it is still regarded as one of the best racing movies ever
made. There were no compromises: it was Steve McQueen's film and he did it his
way. His exacting standards were because the film was so close to his heart.
Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is a compulsive, exciting and stunningly
stylish story of the movie star as he creates his dream picture of motor racing.
With fascinating insights from those closest to him, film crew and racing drivers,
interviews past and present, unseen archive footage and an up-close-and-personal
view of the sometimes volatile man himself, this is a must for fans of Steve
McQueen, films or racing.
Steve McQueen was diagnosed with cancer and died in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in
Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans premiered at the 68th Cannes Film
Festival and was one of only two British films to be an official selection for
Cannes in 2015. The film also features: Chad McQueen, Neile Adams, John Sturges,
Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Derek Bell, David Piper, John Frankenheimer
and Louise Edland.
Music is by James Copperthwaite; Cinematography by Matt Smith; Executive Producers
include Chad McQueen; Producers and Directors are: Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna.
Media Group announces the release of the gripping, emotional documentary Steve
McQueen: The Man & Le Mans in the UK on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on 5
Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 102 Minutes Approximately | DVD and Blu-ray
Extras: Cast Interviews | Getting The Perfect Shot | Le Mans vs Grand Prix |
Le Mans The Greatest Race | Mario's Letter | The Motocross Track
| The Cast After Le Mans | Allan McNish: 24-Hour of Le Mans Winner.
"Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans is a compulsive, exciting and stunningly
stylish story of the movie star as he creates his dream picture of motor racing"
**** Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"Remarkable unseen footage" ****
"Compelling" Hollywood Reporter
"Absorbing" Daily Mirror