Racing films are particularly worth seeing because of the action that alone the duels of the fast racers bring with them. If the director stages them coherently and skillfully, that's usually half the battle. But it's not all that "Indianapolis" painfully

Posted by Curran Gillespie on January 15th, 2021

Frank Capua (Paul Newman) is the undisputed star in the racing circuit. He rushes from victory to victory and inspires the masses. When he met the single mother Elora (Joanne Woodward), sporty happiness was now also a part of private happiness. Love is followed by a wedding and a wonderful time together. But suddenly Capua has to admit defeat to his friend and team mate Lou Erding (Robert Wagner) more and more often on the racetrack and make do with second place. Capua withdraws, fiddles with the car and neglects his wife. The calculation follows immediately: He catches her in bed with another man, who turns out to be Capua's ore competitor Erding, of all places. The most important race of the season, the Indianapolis 500, is just around the corner ... You immediately believe that Goldstone and Rodman have their roots in the TV business, but where exactly they gained their experience is surprising. If one were to classify the two of them after “Indianapolis” in some jealousy and intrigue soaps in the style of “Dallas” or “Denver Clan”, they actually worked more in the thriller field. For example, Goldstone has staged numerous episodes of the series “Perry Mason” and the street sweeper “Auf der Flucht”. His best-known movie hit is the disaster thriller “Achterbahn”, which hit German cinemas successfully in 1977. Rodman's best-known works are three collaborations with action thriller specialist Don “Dirty Harry” Siegel: “Only 72 hours left”, the Clint Eastwood vehicle “Coogan's big bluff” and the genre masterpiece “The big coup”, which all are characterized by high tension and - apart from some drawbacks - a character drawing that is very intelligent for the genre. Although "Indianapolis" - just like two of the three thrillers mentioned - was made at the end of the sixties, the tension element of all things is partially missing. In the first hour in particular, the film just babbles away. Getting to know Capua and Elora is told quite nicely, but after that the film quickly slips into a boring genre monotony. The inevitable crises, professional and private, mutually dependent and reinforcing, are only rewound. You rarely get sensible insights into the characters. The notable exception is Elora, played excellently by Joanne Woodward ("Eva with the three faces"), who in one of her desperate moments (the best non-racing scene in the film) tries to get her distant husband to have phone sex, which he does but simply ignored. This brief moment is a lonely flash of narrative density, the rest remains largely without contours. Paul Newman (Haie der Großstadt, Zwei Banditen, Der Clou) can at least give the figure of the descending racing champion a little more profile with his class and his charisma and he manages to draw the audience's sympathy on his side. Robert Wagner (Wild Things, Austin Powers in gold stand) is completely on the losing side, which is less due to his skills than to the script. He is simply the competitor necessary for the hero's triumph, he mustn't have any motivations of his own, and the film often simply ignores the fact that the professional and private rivals are actually friends. However, read more is right. When the famous “Gentlemen! Start Fmovie and the 500 miles of Indianapolis take their course, there is suddenly enough action and excitement. Even if the outcome obeys the rules of the genre, it remains realistic and is not completely exaggerated. The staging of the race is first class and realism is also very important here. Scenes from a real Indianapolis race are skilfully mixed with fictional scenes. Paul Newman did without a stuntman and drove himself. He developed such a great enthusiasm for the sport that he later pursued a career as a hobby racing driver and team owner

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Curran Gillespie

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Curran Gillespie
Joined: January 15th, 2021
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