rush - taylor
C&SC's regular columnist Simon Taylor is the star speaker in Rush.
No one better than Simon to play that key part.
Perhaps Simon would like to tell us more about Rush in a forthcoming Full Throttle story from an insider point of view.
The film is excellent and vividly focuses on the 1976 Hunt - Lauda duel for the Formula 1Championship.
There was a repeated program the other evening about Hunt and Lauda, and Simon Taylor's discription of the close up face of a fired up Hunt suddenly realising he was 3rd in the 1976 Japanese grand Prix and therefore World Champion was so clearly illustrated.
I've seen the documentary too. Can't see what Ron Howard's film can add to it, so will wait to see it free on The Box.
Motor Sport (September 2013), features contributions (23 pages) on the Lauda-Hunt story and the making of the film.
To those in doubt: I appreciate that some people can’t help but look for faults, and find it hard to grasp that a movie is primarily for entertainment rather than a factual history lesson and is aimed at a far wider audience than just a few who might be interested in the minute details of some long ago races.
I rarely bother to go to the cinema, lazily preferring to wait until I can watch a dvd in the comfort of my own home, but I made an exception for RUSH.
Having said that, I did have an added interest both as a Formula One fan of fifty years, and as a former employee of Jaguar Racing which included a spell under Niki Lauda’s leadership. I well remember the ‘76 season and the Hunt/Lauda rivalry and it seemed to me that RUSH told the story very well. Apart from well deserved praise for the leading actors, I would also applaud Mr Howard for using an excellent supporting cast, well designed sets and the recreations of old circuits – last time I was at Monza it had not changed much since the sixties, but the old pits and control tower at Brands Hatch have long gone.
If anybody reading this has picky complaints about the accuracy of the racing scenes then I respectfully suggest they either relax and treat it as a work of fiction, or go and watch real racing.
On the subject of the rivalry which was the core of the story, I suspect the film kept a balanced view of the differences between, and mutual respect of, the two main characters; it trod a fine line and could have easily exaggerated the arguments and become a farcical showdown worthy of the old Ewing clan of Dallas.
While James Hunt is no longer around to have his say, Howard did have the cooperation of many F1 insiders as well as Mr Lauda and even if my memory of the period is only that of a race fan I do not doubt he had excellent advice from many who were closer to the action.
The scene where Niki is telling James that flying is good for the discipline, you have to obey the rules etc, brought back a particular memory of the day at Jaguar about ten years ago when Niki gave chief designer Malcom Oastler a major telling off for landing his helicopter outside his office window and too close to the building. My last memories of James were of the vaguely disinterested BBC race commentator who gave colleague Murray Walker a hard time live on air, and did rather have the spoiled air of a faded pop star who could no longer attract the girls.
In both cases the real life future of the two ‘76 rivals comes as no surprise, and fits perfectly the calculating businessman and the carefree party animal as they were portrayed.
Finally, back to my first statement – I think it also succeeded as a movie for entertainment. Everyone I know who has seen it, many of whom are not race fans, enjoyed it too. Sure someone may have a gripe about some quote or scene that was not to their liking, or something left out, but as a full race season (plus the early years leading up to ‘76) story told in two hours it kept moving forward without having time to get boring and kept the audience interested from start to finish.