Weekend Of A Champion (1972)

FRANK SIMON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5United Kingdom, 1972.  .  Screenplay by Frank Simon.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Film Editing by

‘s love of the racing world led to a friendship with late 60s superstar , upon whom this breezy and enjoyable documentary is focused.  It covers three days of races in Monaco, watching as the driver prepares for and undergoes the rigors of the course, interspersed with his conversations with buddy Polanski or scenes of his concerned family and friends worrying about the outcome of the race (like wondering if he’ll come out of it alive).  Produced by Polanski and featuring a lot of uncredited direction by him as well, the film has in more recent years been elongated with a great treat for fans:  a twenty minute interview has been added to the end of the original film that sees the famed filmmaker and Stewart catching up and looking back on the events covered in the original release (including the fact that car racing has become infinitely much safer since those days, in large part because of Stewart’s advocacy for increased measures to protect drivers).  Lots of beautifully shot footage, particularly of  cars driving in both rain and shine, in a film that still feels quite fresh and light and not painfully dated.

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