We’ve all heard the name McLaren, but what about the man behind the brand? This documentary puts Formula 1 legend Bruce McLaren front and centre. Stitching together home videos, tense race footage and interviews with his loved ones, it’s an intimate insight into the ambitious racing driver who set up one of the most successful F1 teams in history before his tragic death aged 32 during a test drive in 1970.
The film takes us from McLaren’s childhood in New Zealand to his all-consuming international fame, via family life, told by his widow Patty. A handful of dramatisations – intended to flesh out gaps in the narrative – jar while at times the film digs deep into detail in a way that threatens to alienate all but the most dedicated racing fans. But ultimately the human story of this scrappy and magnetic man keeps the doc on track. The shock of McLaren’s death is still raw 47 years on.
Recounting the events to camera reduces Patty and his loyal ‘men’ to tears. And while McLaren’s legacy continues to thrive, there is a sense of finality about this movie. Four of the key contributors passed away during filming.