“I live for myself and I answer to nobody” – Steve McQueen
The Blob, The Great Escape, The Cincinnati Kid, The Sand Pebbles, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, Papillon, and Tom Horn. Just a handful of the massively popular and powerful acting performances by the late great Steve McQueen. Hailed as the King of Cool as well as presenting a public persona of being something of a lone wolf, McQueen’s legacy continues to garner appreciation from new generations of film goers thanks to many of those films listed above.
Which is why I was very pleased to review the new documentary entitled “I Am Steve McQueen” that has been released to stores today from our friends at Shout! Factory.
[Via] TVD Cast Video
The documentary takes a look at McQueen’s life and that of his legacy with interviews from his Family and Friends and those that find themselves inspired by the way he lived…and as you can see from the quote at the top of this post it was on his terms for better or for worse. Thanks to the documentary we learn of his troubled boyhood, one that would have meant a dark fate if he hadn’t picked himself up after being remanded to the Boys Republic in Chino, California. Throughout his life, McQueen would remember how he was saved from ruin and after becoming a successful actor would return to talk to help the boys there in the hopes they could see what flying straight might achieve.
After leaving at 16 to join his Mother he quite frankly wandered the World until a year later he joined the Marines, allowing him to learn for himself that he was devoted to things mechanical, a trait he would fully embrace with his collection of fast cars and motorbikes. After leaving the Military the young McQueen decided on acting and headed to New York where he struggled to make it and from firsthand accounts you will realize he would not let people stand in his way of becoming a success. Whether that be as the best actor, the greatest racecar driver (He lost to Mario Andretti in 1970 by a mere 23 seconds), or the best Father.
I Am Steve McQueen while giving us a very personal and moving look at the acting legend doesn’t shy away from the fun and glamor of his status as one of Hollywood’s best actors…with that allowing him to court trouble professionally and personally. In the documentary you will hear from his three wives, Neile Adams, Ali McGraw, and Barbara Minty as well as interviews with his Son, Chad, and Grandchildren Steven R. McQueen and Molly McQueen. Also interviewed are Gary Oldman, Marisa Miller, Norman Jewison, Randy Couture, Zoë Bell, Ben Mankiewicz, and the equally legendary Robert Vaughn.
The documentary is narrated by none other than Robert Downey Jr. with commentary by Kristin Kreuk. Even though we know of McQueen’s fate, his death from cancer at age 50 in 1980, it doesn’t detract from the original interviews and archival material collected for I Am Steve McQueen and any fan or film buff will want it in their collection!
Shout! Factory of course has included extra features you will want to check out:
McQueen’s Garage – The icon’s collection of Cars, Planes and Motorcycles
Steve McQueen’s Yucatan – McQueen’s Passion Project
So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to Shout! Factory or your local store and get your hands on the DVD or Blu-Ray!