Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film centred on the Hunt–Lauda rivalry between two Formula One drivers, the British James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda[10] during the 1976 Formula 1 motor-racing season. It was written by Peter Morgan, directed by Ron Howard and stars Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda. The film premiered in London on 2 September 2013 and was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival[11][12] before its United Kingdom release on 13 September 2013.[13]

Rush UK poster.jpeg
British release poster
Directed byRon Howard
Produced by
Written byPeter Morgan
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographyAnthony Dod Mantle
Edited by
Distributed by
Release date
  • September 2, 2013 (2013-09-02) (London)
  • September 13, 2013 (2013-09-13) (United Kingdom)
  • September 27, 2013 (2013-09-27) (United States)
  • October 3, 2013 (2013-10-03) (Germany)
Running time
123 minutes[1][2]
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • United States[nb 1]
Budget$38 million[9]
Box office$98.2 million[9]


James Hunt and Niki Lauda are exceptional racing car drivers who first develop a fierce rivalry in 1970 at a Formula Three race in London, when both their cars spin before Hunt wins the race. Hunt is a brash and self-confident individual, while Lauda is a cool and calculating technical genius who relies on practice and precision. Lauda takes a large bank loan from Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank (wearing their logo thereafter) to buy his way into the BRM Formula One team, meeting teammate Clay Regazzoni for the first time. Meanwhile, Hesketh Racing, the fledgling racing team Hunt drives for, enters Formula One. Lauda then joins Scuderia Ferrari with Regazzoni and wins his first championship in 1975. Hesketh closes down after failing to secure a sponsor, but Hunt joins the McLaren team. During this time, Hunt marries supermodel Suzy Miller, while Lauda develops a relationship with German socialite Marlene Knaus.

The 1976 season starts with Lauda dominating the first two races while Hunt struggles to catch up. Hunt wins the Spanish Grand Prix, but is disqualified after a post-race inspection rules that his car is fractionally too wide. Struggling to comply with F1 rules, McLaren suffers a series of racing setbacks, and Hunt's situation is further exacerbated when Suzy starts a relationship with actor Richard Burton. Following his divorce, Hunt regains his competitive spirit and, when his disqualification in Spain is overturned, the points put him into championship contention. Lauda marries Marlene in a private ceremony but begins to have concerns about the effects of his newfound happiness, worrying that he has become vulnerable as a racer, as he now has something to lose.

At the German Grand Prix, Lauda urges the F1 committee to cancel the race due to heavy rain on the already notoriously dangerous Nürburgring Nordschleife. At a drivers' meeting on race day, Hunt argues that Lauda is trying to benefit by having one less race in the season, and the drivers vote to race. Most drivers start the race with wet weather tyres, which becomes a costly tactic due to most of the track quickly drying. They all change tyres during the second lap, but on the third lap, a suspension arm in Lauda's Ferrari breaks, sending the car flying into an embankment then bursting into flames. Lauda is airlifted to hospital with third-degree burns to his head and face and internal burns to his lungs. For six weeks, Lauda is treated for his injuries while he watches Hunt dominate the races in his absence. Despite his doctor's orders, he decides to return to drive his Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix, finishing fourth while Hunt fails to finish.

The 1976 season comes to a climax at the rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix. Hunt's late rally in Lauda's absence has pulled him within three points of Lauda. At the end of the second lap, after his car has slid several times, Lauda returns to the pits and decides to retire from the race, considering it far too dangerous and opting to stay with Marlene instead. This gives Hunt a chance to win the championship if he can finish third or better. After facing stiff competition under gruelling conditions, tyre problems and a hand injury due to the gear shifter knob breaking, Hunt finishes third, winning the championship by a single point.

Hunt spends the rest of the year revelling with fame, sex and drugs, while Lauda takes an interest in flying private planes. At a private airfield in Bologna, Lauda suggests to Hunt that he focus on the next racing season to defend his title, but Hunt argues that his glamorous lifestyle is the most enjoyable part of being world champion. Lauda later on realises that Hunt no longer feels he needs to prove himself to anyone. Hunt continues to race until his retirement in 1979, and becomes a motorsport broadcast commentator until his death in 1993 at the age of 45. Lauda reflects on how their great rivalry and personality differences spurred each other on to their finest achievements, and states that Hunt was the only other driver he ever envied.


Daniel Brühl, Niki Lauda and Peter Morgan at the premiere of Rush in Vienna, Austria.

Hunt and Lauda appear as themselves, in the 1970s and 1980s, in archive footage at the end of the film, while Lauda is then seen for a few seconds in contemporary (2013) footage.


The film was shot on location in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria.[14] Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire, the Snetterton (Norfolk), Cadwell Park (Lincolnshire), the former Crystal Palace[15] and Brands Hatch (Kent)[16] motor racing circuits in Britain, and at the Nürburgring in Germany.[17] Both vintage racing cars and replicas were used in the filming.

The financiers include Hürth-based action concept Film- und Stuntproduktion, Egoli Tossell Film, Revolution Films (GB) and Cross Creek Pictures (US). The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW funded the film with €1.35 million, additional funding was provided by MFG Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).[18]

Director Ron Howard originally intended for Russell Crowe to make a cameo appearance as Richard Burton for a brief scene where he confronts James Hunt on his affair with Suzy.[19][20]

Historical accuracyEdit

Some things in the film are exaggerated (like the Hunt–Lauda rivalry; in reality they had shared a flat early in their careers and were good friends), others downplayed (like Lauda's wife's shock at his disfigurement), and others invented (like Hunt beating up a reporter or the Nürburgring nickname being "the graveyard"; in fact Jackie Stewart had nicknamed it "the Green Hell").[21][22][23] A further inaccuracy is that when Lauda's car was in flames, only one other racing competitor, Arturo Merzario, succeeded in pulling Lauda out of his car, not four as shown in the movie. Other inaccuracies include the British F3 battle at Crystal Palace, which in reality was between Hunt and Dave Morgan, and Hunt's overtake on Regazzoni for 3rd place in the Japanese Grand Prix when in the actual race he passed Alan Jones. Another error in the Japanese Grand Prix is that Regazzoni and Laffite finished fourth and fifth, while in the actual race it was Jones and Regazzoni who finished fourth and fifth. In the end scene an incident is described where Hunt, while being a tv broadcaster, comes to a meet-up with Lauda on a bicycle with a flat tire. In reality this incident happened while Hunt ran out of money and fell into alcohol-addiction. On this day Lauda gave him money to rebuild his life. Hunt, after Lauda gave him money a second time, later fixed his life and got his job as a television broadcaster.[24] The visual blog Information is Beautiful deduced that, while taking creative licence into account, the film was 82.9% accurate when compared to real-life events, summarizing that there were "a little staging to get Lauda and Hunt in the same locations sometimes, but otherwise [it was] true".[25]


The film's orchestral score was composed by Hans Zimmer.[26] The soundtrack includes 1970s rock music by Dave Edmunds, Steve Winwood (originally performed and written by the Spencer Davis Group), Mud, Thin Lizzy and David Bowie.[27]


BBC Two aired the documentary Hunt vs. Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals, on 14 July 2013. The documentary provides an extensive look at the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda, featuring interviews with Lauda and former crew members of the McLaren and Ferrari teams.[28][29]

The Ferrari & the Cinema Society jointly organised a screening of the film at Chelsea Clearview Cinemas in New York on 18 September 2013. Chris Hemsworth attended the screening.[30]


Box officeEdit

Rush was a box office success as it earned $26.9 million in domestic box office, $71.3 million in international box office, with a worldwide gross of $98.2 million against a budget of $38 million.[9]

Critical receptionEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 223 reviews with an average rating of 7.5/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, "A sleek, slick, well-oiled machine, Rush is a finely crafted sports drama with exhilarating race sequences and strong performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl."[31] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating to reviews, calculated an average score of 75 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[32]

Niki Lauda was pleased with the overall look of the film. He was quoted as saying: "When I saw it the first time I was impressed. There was no Hollywood changes or things changed a little bit Hollywood-like. It is very accurate. And this really surprised me very positively."[19] Though, when first seeing the pre-screening of the unedited footage he considered himself to be portrayed too negatively. This changed on the day of the first screening when Bernie Ecclestone told him how much he liked it.[24]

Home mediaEdit

Rush was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 28 January 2014. A Sainsbury's exclusive edition with a bonus disc of new special features was released for a limited time. The Australian Blu-ray release is bundled with the 2013 documentary 1.[33]


Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
AACTA International Awards[34] Best Film Nominated
British Academy Film Awards[35][36] Outstanding British Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Daniel Brühl Nominated
Best Editing Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Won
Best Sound Danny Hambrook, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Best Film Editing Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Won
Critics' Choice Movie Awards[37] Best Action Movie Nominated
Best Editing Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Nominated
Best Makeup Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Daniel Brühl Nominated
Empire Awards[38] Best British Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Daniel Brühl Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[39][40] Best Motion Picture – Drama Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Daniel Brühl Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Film Editing Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Daniel Brühl Nominated
Best Score Hans Zimmer Nominated
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award Daniel Brühl Won
Satellite Awards Best Director Ron Howard Nominated
Best Cinematography Anthony Dod Mantle Nominated
Best Visual Effects Antoine Moulineau, Jody Johnson, Mark Hodgkins Nominated
Best Editing Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Nominated
Best Sound Danny Hambrook, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler Nominated
Best Art Direction and Production Design Mark Digby, Patrick Rolfe Nominated
Best Costume Design Julian Day Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Daniel Brühl Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards[41] Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture Jody Johnson, Moriah Etherington-Sparks, Mark Hodgkins, Antoine Moulineau Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Daniel Brühl Nominated
Best Editing Dan Hanley, Mike Hill Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ There is some disagreement regarding the country of origin of Rush and this is a weighted listing of the sources. Andrew Eaton one of the film's producers calls it a British film, but also indicates it is an "Anglo-German co-production,"[3] while another source lists only Germany.[4] Another source lists both Great Britain and the US,[5][6] while others list all three countries.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Rush (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Rush". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  3. ^ Andrew Eaton (December 16, 2016). "Why being British is no longer a handicap when it comes to films". The Guardian. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "Rush (2013)". TCM. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Rush". AFI. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Rush (2013)". AllMovie. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Rush (2013)". BFI. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Rush". LUMIERE: Data base on admissions of films released in Europe. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  9. ^ a b c "Rush (2013)". The Numbers. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Niki Lauda on Rush, James Hunt and the crash that changed his life". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Toronto film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. London. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  12. ^ Evans, Ian (2013), "Rush TIFF premiere photos",
  13. ^ "Rush Movie Official UK Site for the Rush Film In Cinemas 13th September". Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  14. ^ "Rush - Official Movie Site - 2013". Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  15. ^ "Film London".
  16. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Rush Film Focus".
  17. ^ "Hollywood director gets a real Rush filming at Cadwell". Horncastle News. Johnston Publishing. May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  18. ^ "Premiere on Saturday in Cologne: "Rush"". Film und Media Stiftung NRW. 2013-09-30. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  19. ^ a b "Rush True Story vs. Movie". History vs. Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-09-26. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  20. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (2011-10-04). "Olivia Wilde Lands 'Rush' Role Of Suzy Miller; Russell Crowe For Richard Burton Cameo?". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
  21. ^ von Tunzelmann, Alex (18 September 2013). "Rush: a thrilling but untrusty ride". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  22. ^ WYBREW, ALLY. "Rush Vs. Real Life: Where Fact Meets Fiction". Empire. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  23. ^ Williams, Richard (6 September 2013). "Rush's soap washes away subtleties of James Hunt and Niki Lauda". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  24. ^ a b Bensinger, Graham. "Niki Lauda". In Depth with Graham Bensinger. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Based on a True True Story? Scene-by-scene Breakdown of Hollywood Films". Information Is Beautiful. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  26. ^ Rosen, Christopher (2013-09-16). "Hans Zimmer On His 'Rush' Soundtrack, Oscar Nominations & 'Man Of Steel 2'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  27. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (2013-08-28). "Watch: New Clip From 'Rush' Plus Details On The Soundtrack Which Includes David Bowie, Thin Lizzy & Hans Zimmer". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  28. ^ "Hunt vs. Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals". BBC. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  29. ^ Davies, Serena (2013-07-14). "Hunt vs Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals, BBC Two, review". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  30. ^ Smarp. "Chris Hemsworth in Chelsea Clearview Cinema, New York, NY, USA". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  31. ^ "Rush (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  32. ^ "Rush Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  33. ^ "Rush / 1: Double Pack Blu-ray". Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  34. ^ Kemp, Stuart (13 December 2013). "'American Hustle' Dominates Australian Academy's International Award Noms". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  35. ^ Reynolds, Simon; Harris, Jamie (January 8, 2014). "BAFTA Film Awards 2014 - nominations in full". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  36. ^ "Bafta Film Awards 2014: Full list of winners". BBC. February 16, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  37. ^ "Complete list of nominees for the 19th Critics' Choice Movie Awards". Los Angeles Times. December 16, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  38. ^ "movie news: 19th Jameson Empire Awards Nominations Announced". average film reviews. February 24, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  39. ^ "Golden Globes Nominations: The Full List". Variety. January 11, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  40. ^ "Golden Globe Awards Winners". Variety. January 12, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  41. ^ "12th Annual VES Awards". visual effects society. Retrieved January 3, 2018.

External linksEdit