At A Glance
The story of five Ferrari 1950s racing legends, Peter Collins, Mike Hawthorn, Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Musso and Alfonso de Portago. Through archive material and some personal accounts, this documentary tells the tragic story of how by the end of the decade all would meet with fatality.
Directed by Daryl Goodrich
Released by Universal
2017, 91 minutes
In UK Cinemas 3rd November
Blu-Ray, DVD and digital platforms from 6th November
Peter Collins as Himself (archive footage)
Enzo Ferrari as Himself (archive footage)
Mike Hawthorn as Himself (archive footage)
Ferrari: Race to Immortality - UK Premiere
Ferrari: Race to Immortality, director Daryl Goodrich; documentary participant and Peter Collins widow, Louise King; producers Julia Taylor-Stanley and Kevin Loader attend the UK Premiere. Red Carpet arrivals also include Sky Sports F1 Presenter Natalie Pinkham and Duke of Richmond and Gordon.
Premiere Scene’s Claire Bueno and Anthony Bueno raced to the Curzon Mayfair to interview Daryl Goodrich, Louise King, Julia Taylor-Stanley and Kevin Loader about a very human story centred in the glamorous world of Ferrari motor racing; Natalie Pinkman about diversity in the sport and Duke of Richmond and Gordon about the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival.
Ferrari: Race to Immortality Review
By Claire Bueno
“Win or die, you will be immortal,” said Enzo Ferrari, and the documentary Ferrari: Race to Immortality provides the winning formula to encapsulate a story of heroism, at the heart the Formula One giant.
Ferrari, just the word ignites thoughts of excitement, thrill, speed and danger.
It’s the 1950s, ‘an era of great glamour and great risk,’ perhaps even the golden age of motor racing, and Enzo Ferrari has an enviable team of racing car drivers; Peter Collins, Mike Hawthorn, Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Musso and Alfonso de Portago. But little did they know, that by the end of the decade, all will have met with fatality.
Having lost his father and brother early in life, Enzo Ferrari turned his affections to cars and motor sport.
For a man who thought that cars were loyal, and people were not, Ferrari’s philosophy was, you are only as good as your last race, and thus engineered a competitive culture amongst his drivers. But not between two. As for Brits, Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn, there was a brotherly bond that would never be broken.
This is where the documentary succeeds, because at its core, is a human interest story. The back drop may be Ferrari and Formula One, but the driving force behind the film are the personalities, the drivers; the people.
For most perhaps these racing drivers are a part of a lost generation, superseded by the latest F1 superstar drivers. Which is why Ferrari: Race to Immortality is so important, and so relevant. Peter Collins, Mike Hawthorn, Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Musso and Alfonso de Portago are a significant part of the Ferrari legacy, and their stories must not be forgotten.
Their risk-taking and courageousness, are the foundation to Ferrari’s success and can only be admired. Their acts of gallantry and camaraderie, really made for compelling viewing.
The documentary is told predominantly through the use of archive material, the races, and the drivers.
Overlaid in voice-over are the contributions from journalists, biographers, first-hand accounts from racing-drivers and loved ones.
Structuring the documentary in this way provides a very immersive experience, as it buckles you in, seating you firmly into the romanticism of the era.
With these accounts, it would be easy for the filmmakers to envelope themselves, and us in nostalgia, and be overly sentimental, but it isn’t. They’ve succeeded in presenting an objective account.
The legend of Enzo Ferrari’s tyrannical reign is no secret within the racing world, and the documentary doesn’t shy away from acknowledging this, but it does so without prejudice.
Neither does it shy away from the graphic imagery of drivers meeting their tragic demise. These scenes are brutal, and a stark reminder of our vulnerability as human beings.
Formula One today, is a dangerous sport, but motor racing then, was treacherous. Every time those drivers sped off in their cars, may well have been their last, and for many it was.
There is a word that echoes throughout the film; fear. Fear of dying, fear of the unknown, the fear of being afraid. As though fear is the catalyst that sends a driver crashing into the grim reapers door, quicker than any barrier.
The end of the film has a real visceral impact, as the interviewees are revealed and talk to us as they are now. A skilful piece of filmmaking that evokes incredible emotion.
Ferrari: Race to Immortality is a story of man and machine working in perfect unison, of sportsmanship and chivalry, of men who willingly put their lives on the line, in the pursuit of excellence.