GRAND PRIX is John Frankenheimer's film about the nine-leg world championship of Formula 1 auto racing, and stars James Garner as driver Pete Aron. During the opening race in Monaco, a collision sends Pete's car flying into the Monte Carlo harbor, and British driver Scott Stoddard (Brian Bedford) into a wall. While Pete survives unhurt, Scott may lose the use of his legs, and many hold Pete responsible. Jean-Pierre Sarti (Yves Montand), whose marital boredom has led to an affair with fashion editor Louse Frederickson (Eva-Marie Saint), wins the next race at Clermont-Ferrand. Afterwards Pete accepts the sponsorship of Japanese business magnate Izo Yamura (Toshiro Mifune), and begins to romance Stoddard's jaded young wife Pat (Jessica Walter). Pete wins the Belgian leg of the contest, but Sarti goes into a depression after skidding on a wet track and killing two children in a crash. After Pete also takes the German Grand Prix, Stoddard amazingly returns for the Dutch event, and, driving on sheer grit, pulls out a victory. He proves it's no fluke by also winning in Watkins Glen, N.Y. and in Mexico, making the championship competitive once again. Essentially a soap opera interspersed with racing footage, the film's existence was ascribed by Frankenheimer to his fascination with the sport and a desire to spend time in Europe. That said, the racing sequences are still among the most realistic ever put on film, jammed with wide-angle helicopter shots, you-are-there car-mounted cameras, and then-fashionable split-screen sequences. GRAND PRIX is a definitely a film or racing fans.
Academy Awards Best Film Editing 1966
Academy Awards Best Sound 1966