Welcome to The Best Movies I’ve Never Seen! This is the part of the blog where I work my way through 100 films I’ve never seen that are generally considered to be great. You’re invited to watch along with me if you can find a copy or find it streaming. So grab some popcorn and let’s get started!
Ford v Ferrari
Directed by James Mangold
Quick synopsis… American car designer Carroll Shelby and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles together battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car and take on Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
It’s nice when I hit a newer movie every now and then. This one was released just a couple of years ago, and it’s one that I was sorry I missed in the theater. So I’m looking forward to it.
If it had a little more action involved, I’d say it’s about what a Fast & Furious movie would look like if it took place in the 1960s. Someone should write that prequel… Fast & Furious: 1964. I’d watch that movie. The best part about that hypothetical film is that they’d have to resist the temptation to keep going over the top. They’d be limited by the automobile technology of the day. But I guess no one wants to ground that franchise in reality…
Anyway, I digress.
We have the Ford Motor Company in a little town called Detroit. They’ve hit something of a sales slump and Henry Ford II is looking for the next big idea. So Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) suggests that Ford purchase Ferrari, because that’s the kind of car that young folks are craving these days. And it just so happens that Enzo Ferrari is bankrupt.
Iacocca and a group of Ford executives travel to Italy to present an offer to Enzo Ferrari. But Ferrari uses this as a means to leverage a buyout by Fiat, which would allow Ferrari to maintain complete control over his interests, including the ability to continue racing at Le Mans. Ferrari not only turns down Ford’s offer, but blatantly insults the Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford II personally.
So Ford decides that it’s time to build a car that will not only compete with Ferrari at Le Mans, but beat him as well.
Iacocca then pays a visit to retired race car driver Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), a former Le Mans champion who left the sport due to a heart condition. Ford wants Shelby to help them build the greatest racing car the world has ever seen. Something that will be good enough to beat Ferrari. And Shelby wants to bring along his friend Ken Miles (Christian Bale), a great driver who has something of a volatile temper.
I’m not going to spoil how things turn out. I mean… you can probably guess how things turn out. Because the movie basically follows the underdog format. But I’m not going to blatantly tell you how things turn out.
I will say that it is an entertaining movie and well worth the watch. Christian Bale is fantastic as Ken Miles and any scene he shares with Matt Damon is gold. They have amazing chemistry together in this film. Oh, and the scene between Jon Bernthal’s Lee Iacocca and Remo Girone as Enzo Ferrari is priceless.
Ford v Ferrari is available to stream on HBO Max, so if you have access and have about two and a half hours to spend, I recommend it. Having now seen Ford v Ferrari, it ranks at 428 out of 2,260 movies on my personal Flickchart list.
Have you seen Ford v Ferrari? What did you think of it? Let me know down in the comments! Then come back next week for Sherlock Jr., a movie that I have been having a hard time finding ANYWHERE. So that could make for an interesting post…