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Weekend of a Champion (2013)

Filmmaker Roman Polanski spends a weekend with world champion driver Jackie Stewart as he attempts to win the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix, offering an extraordinarily rare glimpse into the life of a gifted athlete at the height of his powers.

Director:

Frank Simon
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Cast

Credited cast:
Juan Manuel Fangio ... Himself
Graham Hill Graham Hill ... Himself
Roman Polanski ... Himself
Nina Rindt Nina Rindt ... Herself
Helen Stewart Helen Stewart ... Herself
Jackie Stewart ... Himself
Ken Tyrrell Ken Tyrrell ... Himself
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Storyline

Filmmaker Roman Polanski spends a weekend with world champion driver Jackie Stewart as he attempts to win the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix, offering an extraordinarily rare glimpse into the life of a gifted athlete at the height of his powers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

film production | See All (1) »

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

France

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Weekend of a Champion See more »

Filming Locations:

Monte Carlo, Monaco See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,100, 24 November 2013

Gross USA:

$4,100

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,976
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 3 days over a weekend in May 1971 during the 29th Monaco Grand Prix. A new epilogue with Roman Polanski and Jackie Stewart looking back 40 years later was shot in 2011. The same hotel room was used as an interview location both times. See more »

Alternate Versions

"Re-cut and restored" version of the original "Weekend Of A Champion (1972)", with a 2011 post-film discussion between Jackie Stewart and Roman Polanski (begins at approx 71:15 minutes). See more »

Connections

Edited from Weekend of a Champion (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compelling Documentary
7 August 2014 | by larrys3See all my reviews

In this quite compelling documentary Roman Polanski revisits his 1971 doc, of the same name, and follows up its' showing with an interview with the great Formula 1 race driver Jackie Stewart some 40 years after the initial film. In this modern movie, Polanski does not direct leaving it to Frank Brown, but produced it and, as mentioned, does the key interview in the last 20 minutes with Stewart, now 75-years-old.

The documentary focuses on the weekend, in 1971, of the Grand Prix of Monaco, in Monte Carlo. The charismatic and charming Stewart is closely followed as he prepares for the event, amidst uncertain weather which often makes the course quite treacherous. Stewart's attention to every detail and knowledge of every inch of the racetrack are highlighted, and illustrate his true professionalism as a driver.

I thought the colorful pageantry of the race scene was vividly portrayed, with the adoring fans, dashing race drivers, beautiful women, and you really get a sense of being right there on the scene. Stewart's entourage is also highlighted, including his glamorous and supportive wife Helen, car owner Ken Tyrell, his pit crew and fellow drivers, and even his own personal physician on call in case of any problems.

As mentioned, in this updated version of the 1971 film, the last 20 minutes is devoted to Polanski and Stewart conversing in the same hotel room overlooking the Monte Carlo course some 4 decades later. One aspect of this part of the movie was my one criticism here, which was in trying to illustrate how dangerous Formula 1 competition was in those days, several fatal accidents of drivers are graphically and morbidly shown on screen, which can be quite macabre.

Aside from that, Stewart and Polanski discuss how Stewart was instrumental in getting the supervising bodies of Formula 1 racing to make safety improvements, so that today there are much fewer deaths and critical injuries. Also, it was fascinating to hear how Stewart, because of his dyslexia, still to this day can barely read or write and how he hid this from everyone including his wife. Finally, Stewart reveals humbly how he got his start racing cars, and it's quite an interesting story.

All in all, I found this documentary to be very well presented and compelling, and I would rate it highly.

RATING: A-


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