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Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, Ray McKinnon
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Action bio-drama directed and co-written by James Mangold. Ford v Ferrari (2019) is based on the true story of the American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who are dispatched by Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) and Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) with the mission of building from scratch the Ford GT40, an entirely new automobile with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.
Our Favorite Quotes:'It's a truly lucky man who knows what he wants to do in this world, because that man will never work a day in his life.' - Carroll Shelby (Ford v Ferrari) Click To Tweet 'If you're going to push a piece of machinery to the limit, and expect it to hold together, you have to have some sense of where that limit is.' - Ken Miles (Ford v Ferrari) Click To Tweet
Carroll Shelby: There’s a point, seven thousand RPM, where everything fades. The machine becomes weightless, just disappears. And all that’s left is a body moving through space and time. Seven thousand RPM. That’s where you meet it. It asks you a question. The only question that matters, “Who are you?”
Ken Miles: Nothing wrong with the car. It’s the way it’s being driven.
Customer: The way it’s being driven?
Ken Miles: Too much fuel and not enough spark. That’s what’s making her misfire.
Customer: You want to run that by me in English?
Ken Miles: Alright, sir. So, that there, that is a sport car. You have to drive her like a sport car. If you drive her like a school teacher, she’ll clog up. Try changing up at five thousand RPM, not two. Drive like you mean it. Hard, tight, she’ll run clean.
Customer: Are you telling me I don’t know how to drive my own car?
Ken Miles: No. But if you ask me, this isn’t your car. Your car is more a Plymouth, a Studebaker.
Customer: [threateningly] You and me have a problem, buddy?
Ken Miles: I don’t have a problem. I had an MG. Mine ran just fine.
Customer: Screw you, you limey prick! I want my money back!
Ken Miles: Oh, behave! I’ll give it to you! But you haven’t paid for last month’s service yet.
Customer: In this country, the customer is always right! Do you ever hear that?
Ken Miles: Yeah. Yeah. Utter nonsense.
Mollie Miles: [sarcastically, after his customer drives off angrily] Another satisfied customer?
Ken Miles: Can I help you, miss?
Mollie Miles: Wasn’t that an MGA fifteen hundred?
Ken Miles: Ah, you know your cars.
Mollie Miles: Well, I like them. I love the sound they make. The way it goes right through you.
Ken Miles: Right.
Mollie Miles: That vibration.
Ken Miles: Mine is the wood panel, Country Squire, across the street.
Ken Miles: [points to the car across the street] A real hot rod.
Mollie Miles: Oh, yeah? Is it fast?
Ken Miles: Very. Wait a second. What type of girl are you?
Mollie Miles: The type of girl who likes the smell of wet gasoline.
Ken Miles: Oh.
Mollie Miles: Burnt rubber.
Ken Miles: What are you, some kind of a deviant? Are you?
Mollie Miles: Only since I married you.
[she kisses him]
Henry Ford II: [to his factory workers] Hear that? That’s the sound of the Ford Motor Company out of business.
Henry Ford II: [to his factory workers] In 1899, my grandfather, Henry ‘My God’ Ford, was walking home from Edison Illumination, after working a double shift. He was ruminating. That morning, he had himself an idea that changed the world. Sixty-five years, and forty-seven million automobiles later, what shall be his legacy? Getting in the tail bite from a Chevy Impala!
Henry Ford II: [to his factory workers] Here’s what I want you to do. Walk home. While you’re walking, I want you to ruminate. Man comes to my office with an idea, that man keeps his job! Rest of you second best losers, stay home. You don’t belong at Ford.
Bob: [as Shelby comes out of his trailer late] Shelby, you’re up bright and early.
Carroll Shelby: Well, early bird gets the worm, Pops.
Carroll Shelby: We’re going to eat those Vettes for breakfast. We’re lighter, we’re faster. And if that don’t work, we’re nastier.
SCCA Official: Your trunk doesn’t close. Ergo, car fails standard.
Ken Miles: Wait, wait, wait. What?
SCCA Official: Ergo, car is disqualified from said Class AF.
Ken Miles: No, no. Look, can I ask you a question? Alright. When you were a little boy, did you think, “When I grow up, I want to go to the fabled Willow Springs Raceway, and I want to enforce paragraph fifteen point four, section 2B, of the SCCA Regulations on luggage capacity?”
SCCA Official: Alright, that’s it. I’m ruling you and your team disqualified from the race.
Brumos Executive: We heard he’s difficult.
Carroll Shelby: What, Ken? No, no. Ken’s a puppy dog.
Carroll Shelby: [taking the disqualified sticker off his car] You can stick this bloody sticker where the sun never shines.
Ken Miles: Hey. Hey Bill, what seems to be the problem?
Carroll Shelby: Well, the problem is that Bill here is an a**hole.
Ken Miles: No, he doesn’t mean that.
Carroll Shelby: Well, yes, he does.
Ken Miles: No, he doesn’t mean that.
Carroll Shelby: No, he really does think that Bill is an a**hole.
SCCA Official: I’m just doing my job here.
Carroll Shelby: [after Ken’s argument with the SCCA Official] Do you know who that was I was just talking to?
Ken Miles: Bill.
Carroll Shelby: Before that.
Ken Miles: No.
Carroll Shelby: It was Dieter Voss.
Ken Miles: Who’s that?
Carroll Shelby: He runs Porsche, Ken. It’s a little German car company, maybe you heard of it.
Ken Miles: Right?
Carroll Shelby: He wanted you to drive at Sebring, but he’d heard you were difficult.
Ken Miles: I thought we felt the same way about Germans.
Carroll Shelby: Do you like losing, Ken?
Ken Miles: Excuse me?
Carroll Shelby: You heard me.
Ken Miles: I don’t lose.
Carroll Shelby: Without sponsors, you get no car, Ken. Now last I checked, the professionals all have a car.
Ken Miles: Shel!
Carroll Shelby: You cannot win the SCCA without one. If you’re not winning, you are losing.
Ken Miles: [referring to the screwdriver in his hand] Don’t make me lamp this at your head.
Carroll Shelby: Did you bring your son all the way out here to watch you get disqualified, or just act like a jacka**?
[Ken throws the screwdriver, which hits and shatter the windscreen of his race car]
Carroll Shelby: Well, that answers that.
Lee Iacocca: [doing a presentation for Henry Ford] If you go to the movies, you open up a magazine, you don’t see good old boys in Winston-Salem. You see Sophia Loren, Monica Vitti. James Bond does not drive a Ford, sir.
Henry Ford II: That’s because he’s a degenerate.
Leo Beebe: Why exactly should Mr. Ford listen to you?
Lee Iacocca: Because we’ve been thinking wrong. Ferrari. Now they have won four out of the last five Le Mans. We need to think like Ferrari.
Leo Beebe: Ferrari makes fewer cars in a year than we make in a day. We spend more on toilet paper than they do on their entire output. You want us to think like them?
Lee Iacocca: Enzo Ferrari will go down in history as the greatest car manufacturer of all time. Why? Is it because he built the most cars? No. It’s because of what his cars mean. Victory. Ferrari wins at Le Mans. People, they want some of that victory. What if the Ford badge meant victory?
Leo Beebe: [after Enzo Ferrari turns down the deal for Ford to purchase Ferrari] He played us. Old man Enzo had no intention of selling to us. He used us to up his price. Embarrass our company, and insult your leadership. It was a bad idea from the start.
Henry Ford II: What exactly did he say?
Lee Iacocca: He said Ford makes ugly little cars, and we make them in an ugly factory. He said our executives are sons of wh*res.
Henry Ford II: About me.
Lee Iacocca: He called you fat, sir. Pig-headed.
Henry Ford II: Go on.
Lee Iacocca: He said you’re not Henry Ford. You’re Henry Ford the second.
Henry Ford II: I want the best engineers. The best drivers. I don’t care what it costs. We’re going to build a race car.
[referring to Ferrari]
Henry Ford II: And we’re going to bury that goddamn greasy wop a hundred feet deep under the finish line at Le Mans. And I will be there to watch it.
Carroll Shelby: Morning. Can I help you?
Lee Iacocca: Carroll Shelby.
Carroll Shelby: Maybe.
Lee Iacocca: Lee Iacocca, Ford Motor.
Lee Iacocca: I’m here on behalf of Mr. Ford, Henry Ford the second. Suppose, hypothetically, that he wanted his company to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You’re one of the only Americans that’s ever done it. So I’m wondering, what’s it take?
Carroll Shelby: Hypothetically?
Lee Iacocca: Hypothetically.
Carroll Shelby: Well, it’ll take something money can’t buy.
Lee Iacocca: Money can buy speed.
Carroll Shelby: It isn’t about speed, Lee. It’s not just like those other tracks where all you do is turn to the left for four hours. To win that race, you need a car that’s light enough to do two hundred on the straightaways, but strong enough to keep that up for three thousand miles without a break. Not just the best car y’all have ever made, but better than anything that Enzo Ferrari shows up with that year. And that just gets you to the green flag, that’s where your problems really start.
Lee Iacocca: So, you’re saying it’s challenging.
Carroll Shelby: Look, it’s not even a track, Lee. Le Mans is eight and a half miles of country road. It’s narrow, ungraded. It’s rough. There’s no camber on the turns, no rails. You got to do that for twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours, Lee. That means night. Half of that race is in the dark, you can’t see s**t. Cars coming up on you out of nowhere. Drivers stumbling around the track, pouring blood. Maybe one of them’s your friend, maybe he’s on fire. You’re exhausted, you’re hungry. Can’t remember your name, what country you’re in, and all of a sudden you realize you’re doing a hundred and ninety-eight on the straight. And if anything goes wrong, you blow a gasket, five cent washer. That’s it, whole thing’s over. Ferrari wins again. Just like it won last year. The year before that, and the year before that. Yeah, it’s challenging.
Lee Iacocca: So you don’t think that Ford Motor Company can build the greatest race car the world’s ever seen? You think that we are incapable of winning an event like that? Even if we had a brilliant partner? Even if we wrote a blank check?
Carroll Shelby: What I’m saying is you can’t buy a win, Lee. But maybe you could buy the guy who gets you a shot.
Ken Miles: You’re going to build a car to beat old man Ferrari? With Ford. With a Ford?
Carroll Shelby: Correct.
Ken Miles: And how long did you tell them that you needed? Two, three hundred years?
Carroll Shelby: Ninety days.
Ken Miles: Alright. So, let’s just look at this for a moment. And for argument’s sake, let’s just forget about the whole ninety day thing. So let’s just pretend you got all the money in the world, and all the time in the world.
Carroll Shelby: I like the sound of that.
Ken Miles: Alright. So, you think that Ford are going to let you build the car that you want, the way you want it? The Ford Motor Company? Those guys? Have you ever been to Detroit? I mean, they have floors and floors of lawyers, and millions of marketing guys. And they’re all going to want to meet you, or they’re going to want to get their photo taken with the great Carroll Shelby. And they’re going to kiss your a**, and they’re going to go back to their lovely offices, and they’re going to work out new ways to screw you. Why? Because they can’t help it. Because they just want to please their boss. Who wants to please his boss, who wants to please his boss. And they hate themselves for it, but deep down, who they hate even more, are guys like you. Because you’re not like them, because you don’t think like them, because you’re different.
Carroll Shelby: [giving a speech] If my daddy was here today, he’d tell me to sit on down and leave the yacking to the college boys. So, like my cars, I’ll make this fast. When I was ten years-old, Pops said to me, “Son, it’s a truly lucky man who knows what he wants to do in this world, because that man will never work a day in his life.” But there are a few, a precious few. And hell, I don’t know if they’re lucky or not, but there are a few people who find something they have to do. Something obsesses them. Something if they can’t do it, it’s going to drive them clean out of their mind. I’m that guy. And I know one other man feels exactly the same. His name is Mr. Henry Ford. And together we’re going to build the fastest automobile in the world. And we’re going to make history too, at Le Mans.
Carroll Shelby: My name is Carroll Shelby. I build race cars.
Ken Miles: [referring to the car] It’s the nose. I can feel it in the wheel.
Aeronautics Chief Engineer: Mr. Miles, if there’s a problem the computer will find it.
Phil Remington: Charlie, get some scotch tape and a ball of wool.
[we then see the car covered in scotch tape with wool attached to it]
Ken Miles: Alright. Good, good good. So now let’s just get all of this junk out. Right, Pops?
Phil Remington: Yeah, yeah. I concur. Come on guys.
[getting everything out of the car]
Aeronautics Chief Engineer: What are they doing?
Carroll Shelby: Making your car faster.
Leo Beebe: Mr. Shelby. Welcome to Dearborn.
Carroll Shelby: What are you doing at a test track? You’re going to get Castrol all over that nice suit.
'Sometimes words just are not useful.' - Carroll Shelby (Ford v Ferrari) Click To Tweet