On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized
camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula
1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris.
The film was limited for technical reasons to 10 minutes; the course was from Porte
Dauphine, through the Louvre, to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. No streets were closed,
for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit.
The driver completed the course in about 9 minutes, reaching nearly 140 MPH in some
stretches. The footage reveals him running real red lights, nearly hitting real pedestrians,
and driving the wrong way up real one-way streets.
Upon showing the film in public for the first time, Lelouch was arrested. He has never
revealed the identity of the driver, and the film went underground until a DVD release
a few years ago.
About Claude Lelouch (born October 30, 1937) is a French film director,
writer and producer.
Born in Paris, Lelouch won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966 for
Un homme et une femme (A Man and a Woman), as well as two oscars including best foreign
language film. The 1981 musical epic Les Uns et les Autres is widely considered as
Lelouch is known for making movies based heavily on improvised dialogue.
He was arrested after his 1976 film, C’était un rendez-vous, reportedly at the time
featuring a Ferrari 275 GTB being illegally driven at speeds approaching 140mph through
the streets of Paris by a Formula 1 driver, was first shown publicly.
Recent claims made by the director himself, however, suggest he drove his own Mercedes-Benz
450SEL 6.9 in the film and dubbed the sound effects of a Ferrari 275GTB. Several independent
groups have verified that the car in the film never reaches past 140km/h(85mph)
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