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Brabham Movie

by Bruce McMahon | Aug 28, 2020

Movie Review


Brabham, a modern documentary on Australia’s first world motor racing champion, rarely hits the rev limiter.

Some of that perhaps is down to the stoic nature of Jack Brabham, famed as a three-time Formula One world champion and the only driver to win a world championship in a car he’d help build. But Sir Jack was never a big talker.

And here, in an 86-minute movie now on Stan and available on DVD, there is precious little insight into what made the man tick _ despite a cast of motorsport luminaries being interviewed.

There is a swag of talking heads yet most agree Black Jack was impossible to read. Some say he was a shy champion, others suggest he was an often ruthless rogue and Sir Jackie Stewart says he has more marks on his race helmet from stones thrown up by Sir Jack than from any racing accident.

His engineering partner Ron Tauranac, and others, suggest he was extra careful with money. Ron Dennis says both Jack and Ron were pretty grumpy guys.

Most appear to be second-guessing the man who took on Formula One with that tail-out speedway style he’d developed in Australia. And Sir Jack, who died in 2014, never gets to say much (from the archives) through this show.

F1 purists would also appreciate more racing footage rather than that host of often annoying graphics and theatrical presentations thrown in.

Brabham the movie ends on a positive note with son David Brabham presenting his BT62 sports machine and the promise of reviving one of motorsports' most revered names. But there are some flat spots along the way