The Best Depictions of Car Racing in the Film Industry

Hollywood has a phenomenal way of reflecting on various industries in pop culture and entertainment. This has been evident in many films that focus on beloved sports across the world, such as American football, basketball and traditional football (or soccer as the English like to call it). Since the rise of the film industry in the US, directors and producers have taken to car racing as an entertaining and fascinating topic for films. While some of these films may be familiar, and others a new discovery to many, all have been able to capture the industry in an original and honest light.

The Fast and the Furious Franchise

This film franchise is without a doubt the most well-known collection of films which use car racing as their primary theme. The first film, the original Fast and the Furious, was released in 2001, and since then there have been seven more films which continue the franchise storyline. Although the movies cover illegal street racing and are filled with action, they do present the racing industry in a way that conveys the thrill of it all. The cars used throughout the films are all made for speed, and their specifications and best features are highlighted throughout. A few of the classic cars used in the films include the 1995 Toyota Supra Turbo, the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko SYC and the 1997 Mazda RX-7, to mention only a few.

Le Mans (Released 1971)

In honour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, that was covered in our review of classic car races, this film follows a fictional character (played by Steve McQueen) that participates in this sport. The genre is a mixture of drama and action, as McQueen’s character Michael Delaney not only competes in the race but has also witnessed the danger of this event when a fellow participant was killed during a crash the previous year. There is also a rivalry between Delaney and a fellow competitor. This is another aspect of racing competitions which is usually inevitable, and watching the rivalry unfold is fascinating. It propels the two drivers to work harder, and push themselves to win the race. The film was actually shot at the Le Mans circuit, and footage from the live race in 1970 was used in the movie.

The Documentary About Ayrton Senna

The documentary Senna was released in 2010 and tells the story of Ayrton Senna da Silva’s life and death. Senna was a Brazilian Formula One racer who began competing in Grand Prix races in 1984. The film starts with his 1984 race and relays his career, which ended in 1994 after crashing during a race in the San Marino Grand Prix. The film is able to capture Senna’s own personal experience of racing. Two other drivers were involved in crashes during that same series of races before him, one of which was also fatal, adding to the tragedy of his death. As a collection of interviews, video footage of races and conversations, it is a clear reflection of the impact incidents like these have on the motor racing industry.