If I had to rename the Ford v Ferrari movie, I might call it Ford v Miles. Like many, I was really excited to see this movie and having just attended a showing, I was left with these knee-jerk reactions to the movie that sought to recreate the story of how Ford beat Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966.
They say you can’t make racing movies that are successful because they don’t have stories off track that are strong enough. This movie was actually more about off track story than on-track winning. The racing footage was nice but far from overwrought.
Every movie needs a villain and it is the one thing I didn’t like about the Senna movie in that Prost was cast as the villain…he was not. I also am not 100% convince Leo Beebe was the real villain in Ford v Ferrari. Sure, he was a marketing man but I’ve read too many books and articles about the 1966 program to get a different view of Beebe.
I certainly think there were elements that did ring true such as the friction caused when trying to create a car by committee which F1 has shown us is very difficult to do. I also think Ken Miles was a unique driver and was one of those drivers that knew the car mechanics so well that his development ability was a real asset to the program.
I always enjoyed reading the history of this event as well as Ford’s program and how Ken Miles operated both on and off track, he is one of motorsport’s unsung heroes indeed. IT reminds me of just how many of these heroes have and do exist in the sport but never get the bright light of fame shone on their efforts.
Working with Paul Charsley, I have meet many of them today and there is a driver field that percolates under the radar of the press plying their skills and contributing in a major way to any program they are involved in.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the movie and it was surprisingly light on racing action if I’m honest. Unlike the traditional notion that racing movies never work because there isn’t enough of a story, this was quite the contrary. There were obviously a few liberties taken for Hollywood and I never read about Enzo shouting down from the box seats but such is movie making.
Now what would really be good is to have a movie about the 1965 Le Mans…that was an amazing story too!
Thought you might enjoy this nice piece on Ken and the program. If you haven’t read the book, Go like Hell, do so, it’s a great read.