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FERRARI - movie by Michael Mann

Jim Weed

Volume 48 Issue 24

Dec 24, 2023

Opening on Christmas day the movie by Michael Mann is called Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari is a complicated man. This movie combines a small look into his life with a bit of Hollywood.

    By the time you receive this issue the film “Ferrari” will be showing in theaters. Set to be released on December 25 this film by Michael Mann depicts Ferrari at a point in his life when the man and the company was probably most vunerable.

    The movie is set in the summer of 1957 and follows the turmoil in preparation of the Mille Miglia.

    I have not seen the movie yet. I also have no inside information other than the previews written by others. Based upon those reviews I felt I should add my comments to the fray.

    First, it’s a movie about Enzo Ferrari. Mr. Ferrari was a complicated man, autocrat, dictator, mentor, and many other adjectives, some not so savory, attempt to describe him.

    Ferrari was all of those things, but it was the burning desire to race and win that drove him. If that meant pushing people to the limit to achieve his goals he did.

    The plot is stated: In 1957, Enzo Ferrari, reeling from the death of his son Dino in 1956, the deteriorating relationship with wife Laura, and the company’s impending bankruptcy, enters his racing team in the 1957 Mille Miglia.

    All of the above is true. Things were difficult for Ferrari. It should be noted that Ferrari had won seven of the nine previous Mille Miglias, failing in 1954 and 1955 by coming in second and third overall respectively.

    I’m not sure the tension of winning the 1957 edition was any greater than previous years. Racing has always been a dangerous sport.
It has been said “The man who demands everything the automobile can deliver is a winner. The man who demands one iota more is a fool.”

    There is no denying Enzo’s personal life was tumultuous. But we must place ourselves in the time and place when having a mistress was not unusual for an industrialist such as Ferrari. Scandalous today, but not so much then.

    Then there is the source this story is built around. Based on the 1991 biography Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine by Brock Yates.

    When it was published, the book was largely derided by many as taking the rumors and innuendos of all the bad about Ferrari and crafting a story around them. As research material for the movie, this book does not paint Enzo Ferrari in the best light.

    So, there you have it. Go see the movie, I’m sure it will be entertaining. The racing scenes are supposed to be good with realistic action. Racing movies have to walk a fine line between boring and too much action. Throw in some personality conflict and artistic license and you will have a successful movie.

    Will it be a Grand Prix or Le Mans?  What about Rush or Ford vs Ferrari? Those are great movies where Ferrari factors large. Who knows? On the list of the best ten racing movies maybe Ferrari will push Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby off the list.

    Ferrari of Atlanta offered their friends a preview on Saturday, December 16 - and Cathy Roush attended. She remarks “it is an intense drama-filled event with spectacular scenes. I don’t want to say too much so you will look forward to seeing it! But now I want to read the book.”


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