So...yes mentions, no news. I believe this played at Film Forum in NYC last year with a new transfer, which is often a harbinger of DVD release. I'd love to finally see this. Was there ever a laserdisc commentary by Frankenheimer?
I have the 3 sided MGM laserdisc of Grand Prix. It's a pretty nice disc in that it is widescreen and preserves the multi image shots during the opening credits and as far as I know, a complete film. It includes the musical overture prior to the film's start and the entr'acte with music.
The disc is in stereo and does not have an audio commentary. The best we'll have for now is to listen to Frankeheimer speak in the DVD audio commentaries for both "Seconds" and "Ronin" in which he refers to Grand Prix's use of camera mounts and filming techniques during driving sequences. There is an impressive set of shots during the final race where a car mounted camera pans over from a car tire facing forward towards the driver, who is obviously the actor. Or a shot where the camera is mounted to the car and faces forward and as the car enters a banked corner, the camera will tilt to maintain level as the car tilts.
Finally, the laserdisc's jacket is a gatefold type with some publicity photos from the film and a theater lobby card and shots from the film.
If a DVD is in the works, hope there's commentary in some form by James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Jessica Walter and Toshiro Mifune plus any others if possible. A documentary on the making of course, perhaps a piece on the cars of the period and of course a piece on the 1966 GT 350 Shelby Mustang Garner drives in the film.
I believe this is the film where composer Maurice Jarre took his previously written Theme from "Dr. Zhivago" and re-arranged the melody backwards and gave us the Theme from "Grand Prix". Well, I guess if you're gonna steal from somebody, it might as well be oneself!
I think cartoon voice Paul Frees dubbed him, as was also the case in "Midway." Despite his many talents, whenever Frees dubbed Japanese actors it always sounded straight out of the worst stereotypes imaginable.
Dubbing foreign speaking actors in English language films was not unusual in the 1960s. Gert Frobe in Goldfinger and Ursula Andress in Dr. No were both dubbed because of thick accents. In later films, after their English improved, they spoke in their own voices. Ingmar Bergman favorite Ingrid Thulin was dubbed by Angela Lansbury no less in her American film debut 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse are but a few examples.
Thanks for the link to your site and the article on Grand Prix. That was great to see and it explained a little of how they got some of those amazing shots. Also interesting to read that Steve McQueen tried to be in this film. Which would lead one to think that because Frankenheimer and McQueen's efforts to work together didn't sort out for Grand Prix, this resulted in McQueen's film, Le Mans.
With the wealth of interview material and articles with and by JF about this film, someone should be able to compile them all, paraphrase them for copyright purposes and make a commentary track that would be the next best thing to a JF track.
TCM broadcasts Grand Prix on a regualr basis in letterbox. Sometime ago I recorded the movie on DVD-R using an E80 and when I finally got around to watching it last night I was suprised how good it came out. I recorded to DVD-RAM and using an E35 re-formatted to 16x9 and re-recorded to DVD-R. Made a cover from posters downloaded from different sites and printed a picture on the DVD-R. Looks like a commercial DVD.