Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans
In 1970, famed actor Steve McQueen hobbled up to a waiting Porsche 908 race car, wearing a cast on his broken foot.
Less than twelve hours later, he and his co-driver Peter Revson (heir to the Revlon family fortune) would cross
the finish line a mere 23 seconds behind Mario Andretti, having nearly won the grueling 12 Hours of Sebring.
The racing world was shocked. It was a personal triumph for McQueen and the perfect setup for his long quest to make a film about the greatest race ever: the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Steve McQueen! Cars! Racing! What could go wrong?
Eighteen months later, McQueen's life would be in tatters.
The studio would force him to give up his one real chance to race at Le Mans as a condition of making the picture. His director and close mentor John Sturges, who helped launch Steve's image in The Magnificent 7 and The Great Escape, would walk off the set in disgust as teams of writers raced to try and complete a script during filming. In a panic, the studio would seize creative control and ownership of Le Mans and install their own director after massive cost-overruns and delays. The racing drivers Steve so admired and hired to drive in the film would pay dearly in accidents while struggling to finish alternate scenes in the movie.
As Le Mans debuted to weak sales and stinging criticism, Steve's reputation as a bankable Hollywood star would be in decline, and the stress and tension of personal deceptions would bring to an end to his 16 year marriage. And in the end, he would never set foot in a race car competitively again.
Four decades later, Le Mans has become the most iconic film ever made about the sport of auto racing, and McQueen's star power has become the stuff of Hollywood legend.
This film documents this extraordinary 18 month period with interviews, footage, and secrets told by the people who lived it: actors, producers, film crew, drivers, wives, sons. It is an unvarnished story about how films are made in the real Hollywood, and the true cost of ego. It is the story of obsession, loyalty, betrayal, human frailty, and ultimately... vindication.