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Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Film Buffs: Here He Comes. Here Comes . . .

James Garner, who, yes, I feature here quite often as he is my favorite actor.
I could not not feature him this week, however, as Mr. Garner celebrated his 83rd birthday yesterday! Happy Birthday, Sir!
Today's Friday Film Buff selection, Grand Prix, features James Garner doing two things he always did very well: acting and driving fast.

Director John Frankenheimer felt that audiences wouldn't be fooled by simply speeding up footage of the cars driving at slower speeds, so he went for realism. The film is all the more dramatic and exciting for it.
Actor Brian Bedford didn't do any of his own driving. Yves Montand did some until he had a scary spin-out, then he was towed for the rest of the shots. Garner, however, did all of his own driving.
It's not my absolute favorite James Garner film, and the best parts are the car races, but it's still worth a look in my opinion.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

This isn't my absolute favorite James Garner film either, but I do enjoy watching it. Especially since I know how much fun Jim had making it. He's my favorite actor too.

I'm sure you noticed the James Garner character, Pete Aaron, was almost nonexistent in the second half of the film. That was because director John Frankenhimer - in what I think was a monumental mistake - cut a lot of scenes that would have fleshed out the Aaron character and allowed the audience to understand him and what motivated him. I guess he did this to make time for more racing footage, but I think the movie would have been better if Aaron had been allowed to be more 3 dimensional. Just my opinion, of course. :)