I Am Steve McQueen (2014)
I know this sounds corny but watching this documentary movie on McQueen is just so COOL. It’s practically putting you right into the scenes and feeling as if McQueen is in the room right next too you. Through both the highs and the heartbreak.
This is accomplished by piecing together the story of Steve with interviews featuring family members like is son Chad and all three of his wives. Neile Adams, Ali MacGraw and Barbara Minty. Vintage footage and interviews with Steve himself are sprinkled throughout the feature length running time to draw us in.
Pierce Brosnan and Gary Oldman offer their views and the reasons why McQueen is timeless and Magnificent Seven and Bullitt co-star Robert Vaughn reminisces about their time together. Stunt woman Zoe Bell offers insight into the appeal of the daredevil actor and Norman Jewison talks of their relationship and working on The Cincinnati Kid and the Thomas Crown Affair together.
Stories are both fun and emotional as those on camera offer their passionate memories of the man they held so dear. At heart he just wanted to be one of the boys around the race track. Like Hollywood and the supposed competition he had with Paul Newman it’s at the track that his fierce inner force would surface.
Just when his career seemed to be in jeopardy after the failure of his pet project Le Mans, he scored hits with Papillon and The Getaway. After The Towering Inferno with Newman he backed off the Hollywood scene with his third wife Minty and seemed content in his accomplishments.
Keeping the cool factor present here is a driving soundtrack throughout that it’s impossible not to like. It just fits in with the McQueen persona.
I’ve read various books on McQueen over the years and must admit to always being captivated by the guy who made so many movies that were iconic growing up in the seventies and eighties.
I’ve told this story many times to those who listen that when I was a kid all of us boys in the neighborhood knew exactly who Steve McQueen was in the late seventies. For me he was a member of The Magnificent Seven. He drove the bike in The Great Escape and fought the good fight in The Sand Pebbles where his scenes with Mako stirred my heart. He had been off the screen for quite a few years when he released two films before his death in 1980. Tom Horn and The Hunter. To say I saw those films upon their initial release at the theater is something I always wear like a badge of honor.
Narrated by Robert Downey Jr., I Am Steve McQueen features the movies, the stars and the speed that always seemed to be a driving force in the life of McQueen. If your not into reading biographies on actors but want to experience what it may have been like living with McQueen either as a wife for the ladies or as a friend or son for us guys this is a wonderful window into just that thanks to the honest participation of those that knew and loved the man we refer to as, “The King of Cool.”