Le Mans ’66 – or Ford v Ferrari as it’s called in the USA – was released in cinemas in the back half of 2019. And since then it’s done rather well for itself.
The film has picked up four nominations at Oscars 2020, including Best Picture.
The film is the latest from Walk The Line and Logan director James Mangold, and it tells of the Ford Motor Company’s endeavours to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France in 1966.
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“I knew something of the history of motor sports,” director James Mangold told RadioTimes.com.
“But I have to say, until I learned this particular story…I’ve never been particularly captivated by motor sports. I had only growing up experienced them on television. And in some ways, it gave me an inspiration for the movie, which was how to translate them to an audience in a way that television hadn’t, that would allow an audience that might not be automatically fascinated with racing, to learn to love it.”
Find out everything we know about the film below.
How can I watch Le Mans ’66?
The film was out in both UK and US cinemas on Friday 15th November 2019.
Le Mans ’66 is now available to watch on Blu-ray and DVD. The film is now available digitally – you can own or rent the film from Amazon here.
Is there a trailer for Le Mans ’66?
Yes, there is, and it’s full of exciting racing action – check it out below.
“The racing transcends the physical aspect of the car and it becomes about those men, who are so alive in that moment,” star Christian Bale told RadioTimes.com of the film’s racing scenes.
“You’re never more alive than when you’re close to death, right? And I’m sure they would not do what they do if they weren’t aware of that grave danger that was so close to them.”
“Especially in that era, I mean the sport’s still really dangerous but then, the brakes were the weakest part of the whole car,” agreed co-star Matt Damon.
“And now they’re the strongest. The idea of going 230 miles an hour and not being sure if you’re going to stop, is kind of incredible. It’s something to make a movie about.”
Why isn’t Le Mans ’66 called Ford vs Ferrari?
Well, it is – just not in the UK. According to director Mangold, prohibitions on using brand names in UK films forced them to change the title over here or in certain other European territories. In the US, the film still goes by Ford vs Ferrari.
What is 24 Hours of Le Mans?
Held every year since 1923, this motor car race takes place in the north-western French town of Le Mans and is considered a prestigious test of endurance – taking place, as the name suggests, over the course of 24 hours.
Held nowadays on the second weekend in June, the event shifts focus from speed to reliability, requiring cars to run for the entire period with limited mechanical failure in order to succeed. Race rules – which limit time spent by one driver behind the wheel – mean that competing teams are usually made up of three with the occasional crew fielding just two drivers.
Porsche hold the most wins with 19 in the race’s history, followed by Audi with 13 and Ferrari with nine. Ford have won the race four consecutive times in the 1960s. The driver with the most wins is Norwegian Tom Kristensen with nine victories, the most recent coming in 2013.
What is Le Mans ’66 about? Is it based on a true story?
Le Mans ’66 will tell the true story of Ford’s battle to take on Ferrari at the 24-hour racing competition.
Matt Damon stars as Carroll Shelby, the visionary American driver and car designer who was enlisted by Ford to assemble a car – the Ford GT40 – to beat out Enzo Ferrari’s vehicles and their dominance over the race.
Shelby recruits rogue driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), and together they “battle corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car.”
Who is in the cast of Le Mans ’66?
Damon and Bale star as Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles.
Outlander‘s Caitriona Balfe plays Miles’ wife Mollie, while Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) is his son, Peter.
Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) is Ford exec Lee Iacocca, Josh Lucas portrays Ford’s director of special vehicles, Leo Beebe, and Tracy Letts is Henry Ford II.