What Really Happened to Rush?

In this episode of What Happened to This Movie, we reflect on Ron Howard’s 2013 biographical racing drama Rush.

After the release of Neill Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo, it feels like the perfect time to reflect on Ron Howard’s biographical racing drama, Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, and Olivia Wilde. The 2013 film focuses on the 1976 motor-racing season and the rivalry between Briton James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda. Like most biographical dramas, Howard dramatizes Rush’s plot points for the audience, including Hunt and Lauda’s rivalry and Lauda’s wife’s reaction to his injuries.

Other story elements were invented for the film, such as altercations off the race track and details about who participated in what race and the results of their efforts. While it’s typical for a biographical film to blur fact from fiction to create a more compelling narrative, Rush takes several liberties with Hunt and Lauda’s story despite the duo being friends early in their careers.

The mood around Howard’s direction of the film is one of intensity. The director ran a tight ship, shouting instructions to camera crane operators and set dressers in charge of organizing scenes and resetting marks. The Blackbushe set introduced a series of challenges, including grandstands filled with inflatable dummies dressed in ’70s threads. Thankfully, post-production works wonders, filling the scenes with thousands of screaming fans as CGI cars occupy vacant positions on the track.

Rush hit the box office loop with solid numbers, earning $98.2 million against an estimated budget of $38 million. In addition to the film, BBC Two aired the documentary Hunt vs. Lauda: F1’s Greatest Racing Rivals ahead of the film’s release. The presentation previewed the story, priming audiences for Hollywood’s version, complete with all the gloss and inaccuracies to make the tale more appealing to the general public.

Are you a fan of Ron Howard’s Rush? Does the film deserve a place alongside Hollywood’s other great racing films? Tell us what you think in the comments section, and tell us what other racing movies you think deserve a video on the channel. What Really Happenes to Rush is written by Jake Dee, and narrated and edited by Adam Walton.

Source: JoBlo

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.