British release poster
Directed byRon Howard
Written byPeter Morgan
Produced by
CinematographyAnthony Dod Mantle
Edited by
Music byHans Zimmer
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 2 September 2013 (2013-09-02) (London)
  • 13 September 2013 (2013-09-13) (United Kingdom)
  • 20 September 2013 (2013-09-20) (United States)
  • 3 October 2013 (2013-10-03) (Germany)
Running time
123 minutes[3]
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • United States[nb 1]
Austrian German[10]
Budget$38 million[11]
Box office$98.2 million[11]

Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film centred on the rivalry between two Formula One drivers, Briton James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda,[12] during the 1976 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[13][14] before its United Kingdom release on 13 September 2013.[15] The film received positive reviews from critics for Hemsworth and Brühl's performances, Howard's direction, the racing sequences, and Hans Zimmer's musical score.


James Hunt, a brash and self-confident individual, and Niki Lauda, a cool and calculating technical genius who relies on practice and precision, are exceptional racing car drivers who develop a fierce rivalry in 1970 at a Formula Three race in London, when both their cars spin before Hunt wins the race. Lauda takes a large bank loan from Austria's Raiffeisen Bank 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 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 results in a ruling that the width of his car was greater than permitted. 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 restored 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.

On the day of the German Grand Prix, Lauda calls a drivers' meeting, urging the F1 committee to cancel the race due to heavy rain on the notoriously dangerous Nürburgring Nordschleife; the vote goes against cancellation after Hunt argues that Lauda is trying to personally benefit in competition by reducing the number of remaining races at a time where Lauda already has a significant points lead towards the season's championship.

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, pushing Hunt ahead of Lauda; the latter's attempts to catch up result in a suspension arm in his Ferrari breaking, causing a loss of control and crash of the car into an embankment, where it bursts 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 - who is otherwise guilt-ridden by Lauda's condition - 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. Hunt argues that the race should be cancelled, but since the television rights were sold everywhere around the world, the Grand Prix still takes place. 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 too dangerous and opting to stay with Marlene instead. This gives Hunt the opportunity 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 highlight of being world champion; Lauda realises that Hunt no longer feels he needs to prove himself to anyone.

In voiceover, Lauda reflects on how Hunt's continued hedonism led to limited future success and his eventual death at age 45, but also on how their great rivalry and personality differences spurred each other on that one season, and states that Hunt was the only person 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.[16] Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire, the Snetterton (Norfolk), Cadwell Park (Lincolnshire), the former Crystal Palace[17] and Brands Hatch (Kent)[18] motor racing circuits in Britain, and at the Nürburgring in Germany.[19] Both vintage racing cars and replicas were used in the filming.[citation needed]

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).[20]

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.[21][22]


Main article: Rush (2013 soundtrack)

The film's orchestral score was composed by Hans Zimmer.[23] 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.[24]

Historical accuracy

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").[25][26][27] 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, fixed his life and got a job as a television broadcaster.[28]

The culmination of the 1975 Championship is depicted, 38 minutes into the picture, as occurring at the US Grand Prix.[citation needed] Lauda is shown in a wheel-to-wheel dice with Hunt’s Hesketh 308B. In reality, the title was decided in Lauda’s favour at the previous race, in Italy, and the two drivers were never together on track at Watkins Glen.[citation needed] Lauda won that race from start to finish, whilst Hunt trailed in fourth, driving the new Hesketh 308C.[citation needed]

In reality Hunt was disqualified post-race from 1976 British Grand Prix (despite winning on the road) for receiving outside assistance.


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.[29][30]

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.[31]


Box office

Rush was a box office success. It earned $26.9 million in domestic box office and $71.3 million in international box office for a worldwide gross of $98.2 million against an estimated budget of $38 million.[11]

Critical reception

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 238 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."[3] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating to reviews, calculated an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[32] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[33]

When Niki Lauda first saw 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.[28] 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".[21]

Home media

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.[34]


Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
AACTA International Awards[35] Best Film Nominated
British Academy Film Awards[36][37] 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[38] Best Action Movie Nominated
Best Editing Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Nominated
Best Makeup Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Daniel Brühl Nominated
Empire Awards[39] Best British Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Daniel Brühl Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[40][41] 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[42] 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 also


  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,"[4] while another source lists only Germany.[5] Another source lists both Great Britain and the US,[6][7] while others list all three countries.[8][9]


  1. ^ Scott Roxborough (18 November 2011). "Germany's Egoli Tossell Join Ron Howard's 'Rush' as Co-Producers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Rush — Alles für den Sieg". Kino Zeit. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Rush (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  4. ^ Andrew Eaton (16 December 2016). "Why being British is no longer a handicap when it comes to films". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Rush (2013)". TCM. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Rush". AFI. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Rush (2013)". AllMovie. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Rush (2013)". BFI. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Rush". LUMIERE: Data base on admissions of films released in Europe. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Rush". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  11. ^ a b c "Rush (2013)". The Numbers. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Niki Lauda on Rush, James Hunt and the crash that changed his life". Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Toronto film festival 2013: the full line-up". The Guardian. London. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  14. ^ Evans, Ian (2013), "Rush TIFF premiere photos",
  15. ^ "Rush Movie Official UK Site for the Rush Film In Cinemas 13th September". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Rush - Official Movie Site - 2013". Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Film London". Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  18. ^ Kent Film Office (8 September 2013). "Kent Film Office Rush Film Focus".
  19. ^ "Hollywood director gets a real Rush filming at Cadwell". Horncastle News. Johnston Publishing. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  20. ^ "Premiere on Saturday in Cologne: "Rush"". Film und Media Stiftung NRW. 30 September 2013. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Rush True Story vs. Movie". History vs. Hollywood. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  22. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (4 October 2011). "Olivia Wilde Lands 'Rush' Role Of Suzy Miller; Russell Crowe For Richard Burton Cameo?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  23. ^ Rosen, Christopher (16 September 2013). "Hans Zimmer On His 'Rush' Soundtrack, Oscar Nominations & 'Man Of Steel 2'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  24. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (28 August 2013). "Watch: New Clip From 'Rush' Plus Details On The Soundtrack Which Includes David Bowie, Thin Lizzy & Hans Zimmer". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  25. ^ von Tunzelmann, Alex (18 September 2013). "Rush: a thrilling but untrusty ride". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  26. ^ Wybrew, Ally. "Rush Vs. Real Life: Where Fact Meets Fiction". Empire. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  27. ^ Williams, Richard (6 September 2013). "Rush's soap washes away subtleties of James Hunt and Niki Lauda". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  28. ^ a b Bensinger, Graham. "Niki Lauda". In Depth with Graham Bensinger. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Hunt vs. Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals". BBC. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  30. ^ Davies, Serena (14 July 2013). "Hunt vs Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals, BBC Two, review". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  31. ^ Smarp. "Chris Hemsworth in Chelsea Clearview Cinema, New York, NY, USA". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  32. ^ "Rush Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Home". Cinemascore. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  34. ^ "Rush / 1: Double Pack Blu-ray". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  35. ^ Kemp, Stuart (13 December 2013). "'American Hustle' Dominates Australian Academy's International Award Noms". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  36. ^ Reynolds, Simon; Harris, Jamie (8 January 2014). "BAFTA Film Awards 2014 - nominations in full". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  37. ^ "Bafta Film Awards 2014: Full list of winners". BBC. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  38. ^ "Complete list of nominees for the 19th Critics' Choice Movie Awards". Los Angeles Times. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  39. ^ "movie news: 19th Jameson Empire Awards Nominations Announced". average film reviews. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  40. ^ "Golden Globes Nominations: The Full List". Variety. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  41. ^ "Golden Globe Awards Winners". Variety. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  42. ^ "12th Annual VES Awards". visual effects society. Retrieved 3 January 2018.