Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Dale Earnhardt Story.


"You win some, lose some, and wreck some." - Dale Earnhardt Sr.




This morning I watched an interesting movie, "The Dale Earnhardt Story". It's not Spielberg or Oscars quality (it was a television movie), but a touching "rags to riches" movie depicting a young man (Earnhardt) at the crossroads of whether to continue working at menial jobs to support himself and his young family, or risk it all on becoming a successful racing driver. Earnhardt's sometimes tumultuous relationship with his father plays a major theme in the movie, and in a karma-like way Earnhardt's relationship with his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. mirrors Earnhardt's relationship with his own father.

In spite of some historical inaccuracies and anachronisms, most of which are technical and don't detract from the overall theme, and which seems to be part and parcel of most "life stories" depicted in film other than documentaries, the movie is worth watching. Obviously, followers of NASCAR will have a greater appreciation for the movie, but the complex relationships in the movie, Earnhardt's single-minded "driving ambition" to escape relative poverty, the father-son relationships, and his sentiment that his ambition cost him two marriages, is something even non-followers of NASCAR will be able to relate to. Earnhardt does eventually find true love, and in spite of apparent premonitions to quit racing, continued until what is known to NASCAR fans as "The Day", the 2001 Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 is known as "The Great American Race", and to NASCAR fans Dale Earnhardt is known as "The Great American Hero", and to this day the Earnhardts are referred to, in a land which has never embraced a monarchy, as "Racing Royalty".


 


To be fair to the movie critics, if you're interested in an accurate documentary of Dale Earnhardt:



Links:

Dale Earnhardt

3: The Dale Earnhardt Story

Remembering Dale Earnhardt Sr. (NASCAR)

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