I Am Steve McQueen, DVD

A fast-moving documentary by Jeff Renroe made up of numerous film clips, interviews, and sound bites. ‘The King of Cool’ is revealed, warts and all, his failures as well as his successes. Interviewees include Robert Vaughn (who worked with him in Bullitt), Canadian Norman Jewison (his ‘substitute father/older brother-director who coached him in The Thomas Crown Affair and The Cincinnati Kid), his three wives–including Ali McGraw (The Getaway), his ‘cool’ son Chad, and his ‘straight-looking’ grandson Stephen.

Through them, we gain insights into the character, values, and private life of a rebel who was always true to himself. Tragically, McQueen died at 50, after a strong fight against cancer caused from asbestos-poisoning from his younger navy days. A highly recommended flick about an interesting, uncompromising actor who loved machines, mostly motorcycles and racing cars. One anecdote about this is sufficiently revealing–he finished second behind the great Mario Andretti in a big race, jamming himself into his car seat with a cast for a leg broken in six places from an earlier motorcycle accident. This speaks volumes about the truly tough guy he was.

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