Synopsis: Set against the sexy, glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s, the film is based on the true story of a great sporting rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt (Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Bruhl). The story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error: if you make a mistake, you die.
Director(s): Ron Howard
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 63 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min

...what has turned into

a classic Formula 1 season.

With the weather conditions

so uncertain,

the drivers prepare for...

...the track is still dangerously wet,

but following a drivers' meeting,

- a decision has finally been taken.

- Three minutes to go.

Everybody off the grid now.

Twenty-five drivers

start every season in Formula 1,

and each year two of us die.

What kind of person

does a job like this?

Not normal men, for sure.

Rebels, lunatics, dreamers.

People who are desperate to make a mark

and are prepared to die trying.

My name is Niki Lauda,

and racing people

know me for two things.

The first is my rivalry with him.


please clear the grid.

What about Hunt? Has he changed?

No, he's going on wets.

I don't know

why it became such a big thing.

We were just drivers

busting each other's balls.

To me this is perfectly normal,

but other people saw it differently,

that whatever it was between us

went deeper.

The other thing I'm remembered for

is what happened on 1st August, 1976,

when I was chasing him

like an a**hole.

Trauma trolley, please.

Hello, I think the racetrack

telephoned ahead that I was coming.

Hunt. James Hunt.

What's the matter? No one ever seen

a spot of blood before?

- Are you all right?

- Absolutely fine.

We all thought

you'd been in an accident.

I have.

If you call a friendly disagreement

with another driver an accident.

What did you disagree about?

It's none of your business.


His wife.

That's going to need a couple

of stitches. It's a nasty cut.

It was a nasty blow.

Done with a bloody crowbar.

- Why? What did you do?

- Nothing.

Only what she asked me to do.

Which was...

I'd be happy to show you, if you like.

Oh! Sorry.

I have a theory

why women like racing drivers.

It's not because

they respect what we do,

driving round and round in circles.

Mostly they think that's pathetic,

and they're probably right.

It's our closeness to death.

You see, the closer you are to death,

the more alive you feel.

The more alive you are.

And they can see that in you.

They feel that in you.

My name is James Hunt.

My father is a stockbroker,

my sister is a barrister

and my brother is an accountant.

And I...

Well, I do this.

It's a wonderful way to live.

It's the only way to drive.

As if each day is your last.

I've never been to a Grand Prix before.

Oh, you still haven't.

- This is Formula 3.

- What's that?

It's a lower division,

where idiots like me mess about

in the hope of being talent-spotted

to race in Formula 1.

- You look disappointed.

- No.

Ah. You only slept with me

because you thought I was famous.

That's not true.

Don't worry. I will be one day.

Morning, everyone.

- This is Nursie.

- Gemma.

Nursie, this is Bubbles Horsley,

team manager.

How do you do?

- Bubbles?

- Yeah.

- Doc Postlethwaite, our designer.

- How do you do?

And Alexander, Lord Hesketh,

the team's owner.

How do you do?

Fine, thanks.

Well done, Superstar.

- That's the car?

- Yep, that's her.

Lotus 59.

1,000cc Cosworth MAE engine.

She's no beauty,

but goes like the clappers.

Nothing to be worried about.

Does it before every race.

Good sign, actually. Means he's stoked.

AH Formula 3 cars

to the assembly area now, please.

...drivers please bring them

to the scrutineering bay now.

All right, Superstar?

Never better, patron.

- Have a gargle with this.

- Thank you.

Quick toke of this.

At Crystal Palace today,

James Hunt's on pole,

with Austrian newcomer

Niki Lauda alongside him

and Dave Walker completing Row 1.

Row 2 is Mike Beuttler and Dave Morgan,

- with Tony Trimmer and Gerry Birrell.

- Who's that?

He's new.

- Some German.

- Austrian.

He's been here since 5:00 am,

walking the track.

You might actually

have to concentrate today, James.

You'll need these.

Okay, start her up.

Ah! What music!

They could never have imagined it,

those pioneers

who invented the automobile,

that it would possess us like this,

in our imaginations, in our dreams.

Nursie, men love women,

but even more than that,

men love cars.

- Come on, James!

- James! Come on, James!

Go, James!

Hunt's still in the lead,

but Niki Lauda is right on his tail.

Hunt and Lauda are

proving to be in a class of their own.

They're leaving the pack far behind.

Herr Red Devil's on his tail.

Lauda takes a look down the inside...

...and he's sold him a dummy!

Lauda is through! He's in the lead!

Hunt will be determined

to make up for that mistake.

Hunt's in Lauda's slipstream.

Lauda's not leaving any gap.

The Lotus goes for the inside.

It's an aggressive move from Hunt.

Oh! There's contact!

The leaders have spun out!

Lauda's facing the wrong way!

The back marker's gone through.

You can see why Hunt's fellow drivers

call him "Hunt the Shunt".


- Go on, James!

- The Kraut's out of it.

Lauda is clearly furious.

There's every reason

to expect sharp words in the pits.

It's gonna be victory for Hunt.

It's gonna be an ignominious defeat

for Niki Lauda.

So James Hunt scores his

third major Formula 3 win of the season

here at Crystal Palace,

after a desperate battle

with Niki Lauda.

Lauda was unable to restart

after Hunt's aggressive move

caused them both to spin out

in the last lap of the race.

Hard luck.

Better luck next time.

Hey, a**hole.

That was my line. I had that corner.

Rate this script:3.8 / 5 votes

Peter Morgan

Peter Julian Robin Morgan CBE (born 10 April 1963) is a British film writer and playwright. Morgan is best known for writing the historical films and plays The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Damned United and Rush. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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