How Ferrari Has Raced Across the Small and Big Screen

From Grand Prix to Le Mans to Michael Mann's biopic, through the animation of Cars: How Ferrari has raced across small and big screens
Rush (2013)

From Grand Prix to Le Mans to Michael Mann’s biopic, through the animation of Cars: How Ferrari has raced across small and big screens

by John Frankenheimer [1966]
Grand Prix starts in Monte Carlo and ends in Monza. Melancholy almost always wins over adrenaline, but for each circuit, Frankenheimer invents a cinema of its own. No music while racing: the best soundtrack is the furious roar of the engines. Yves Montand, in the twilight of his career, drives the Red.

by Federico Fellini [1968]
Terence Stamp caresses the steering wheel of his 330 LMB Fantuzzi, then off to a hallucinatory race, from the city streets to the Roman countryside (more than a short trip, a descent into hell). Fellini chooses a golden livery while Sofia Coppola opts for black in Somewhere, which openly looks to Toby Dammit.

by Lee H. Katzin [1971]
Sturges left the set midway, leaving Steve McQueen to his hyperrealist delirium. He dreamed of a racing film shot like a documentary: dry, timed, reckless. Meanwhile, the production prayed. The Porsche is the absolute protagonist, but Ferrari gives it a run for its money.

created by Donald P. Bellisario, Glen A. Larson [1980-1988]
Distinguishing features: a pleasing smile, Hawaiian tan, robust mustache. But Magnum is especially recognized for his discreet vehicle, the Ferrari 308 (when he’s not even bothering with a helicopter). Tom Selleck imitates Humphrey Bogart, suited for the small screen.

by Hal Needham [1981]
In 1972, a Ferrari 365 Daytona won the real Cannonball Run, and that semi-clandestine race inspired an entire narrative universe. Needham fools around, and the star-studded cast seems like a class on a field trip. Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., dressed as priests, wave from their 308 GTS.

created by Anthony Yerkovich [1984-1989]
Miami is a tropical Babylon. Sonny and Rico, classy cops, wear Armani and drive a white Ferrari (which is actually a disguised Chevrolet). The 1980s, in a single image. The series is baptized in the epigraph “a Michael Mann Production,” who already had a thing for the Modenese house.

by John Hughes [1986]
If skipping school is an art, Ferris Bueller is the world champion. With the principal on his heels, he’ll have a blast aboard a stolen red convertible from a friend’s parents. The liberating epilogue: the mechanical jewel ends up smashed, and it’s like transgressing the Father’s Law.

by John Lasseter [2006]
Lightning McQueen is rampant and ruby-colored, but he doesn’t exactly come from Maranello. The “real Ferrari,” however, only appears at the end, voiced by Michael Schumacher. In any case, the fame of the Prancing Horse extends well beyond Indianapolis, deep into the most desolate America: brilliant product placement.

by Ron Howard [2013]
Niki Lauda and James Hunt battle it out on circuits around the world: the former is an ascetic, the latter a womanizer; one is colder than a machine, the other is all instinct. After the horrific burns of Nurburgring, Lauda and his Ferrari become one: Darth Vader and his armor.

by AA.VV. [2019-ongoing]
It took Netflix to get Americans excited about Formula 1. The platform’s cameras sneak into the paddocks, tail the drivers, and poke at the team managers. Naturally, Sainz and Leclerc also end up in the circus. A small revolution, for the narration of sports on TV.


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