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Unraveling the Hidden Passion of an Icon: A Look at Steve McQueen: Desert Racer

Steve McQueen: Desert Racer unveils the hidden passion of an iconic actor. A tale of obsession, innovation, and enduring legacy.

Keywords: Steve McQueen, Desert Racer, Motorbike Racing, Bud Ekins, Innovation, Legacy, Personal Passion. Three words: Passionate, Revealing, Inspiring.


"Steve McQueen: Desert Racer" is a riveting documentary directed by Jon Brewer that was released in 2015. The film delves into the lesser-known side of the legendary film icon, Steve McQueen - his love for desert motorbike racing, and the creation of the "Desert Racer." In an era where the spirit of adventure and innovation is highly celebrated, the documentary sheds light on how even successful individuals harbour personal passions that often remain hidden from the world.


The hour-long documentary explores McQueen's obsession with motorbikes and his collaboration with stunt double Bud Ekins in creating a new track racing bike. This passion project led to the birth of the 'Desert Racer'. Decades later, the model is reproduced and brought back to life, a testament to McQueen's enduring legacy.

More Film Analysis



The documentary is an observational yet intimate exploration of McQueen's life beyond his acting career. The quality of research is commendable, offering a deep dive into his personal pursuits. It successfully combines personal interviews, archive footage, and narration to present an engaging narrative.

Historical and Factual Context


McQueen's passion for motorbikes was rooted in the popular motorbike culture of the 1960s in California. The creation of the 'Desert Racer' represents the innovative spirit of the era.

Key themes in the film

  • The intersection of personal passion and professional life
  • The importance of innovation and creativity
  • The enduring impact of personal legacies

Film Comparisons

Unlike other documentaries on iWonder that focus on McQueen's acting career, "Steve McQueen: Desert Racer" offers a unique perspective by focusing on his passion for motorbike racing.

Noteworthy Moments

  • The revelation of McQueen's collaboration with Bud Ekins
  • The unveiling of the 'Desert Racer'


The documentary has received positive reviews for its in-depth exploration of McQueen's love for motorbike racing, scoring a 7.4 on IMDb.


"Steve McQueen: Desert Racer" is a must-watch for fans of McQueen, motorbike enthusiasts, and those interested in personal narratives of famous personalities. It offers a unique look into the hidden passion of an iconic actor and the enduring impact of his legacy.

More film information:


  • IMDb score: 7.4
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
  • Metacritic score: N/A
  • Film festival awards: N/A



  • Steve McQueen: Legendary film icon with a passion for motorbike racing.
  • Bud Ekins: Stunt double and collaborator in creating the 'Desert Racer'.
  • Chad McQueen: Steve's son, who authorised the reproduction of the 'Desert Racer'.



  • California: Where McQueen and Ekins shared their enthusiasm for motorbikes.
  • Oxfordshire: Where the 'Desert Racer' replicas were handcrafted.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  • How did McQueen's passion for motorbikes influence his life and legacy?
  • How does the 'Desert Racer' represent the innovative spirit of the era?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book: "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" - both delve into the love for motorcycles and the deeper meanings behind it.
  2. A famous song: "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf - the song's spirit captures McQueen's love for speed and adventure.
  3. A famous piece of art: "The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dalí - as the 'Desert Racer' represents McQueen's enduring legacy.
  4. A famous celebrity: Paul Newman - another film icon with a passion for racing.
  5. A colour: Black - representing the rugged allure of motorbike racing.
  6. A music style: Rock 'n' Roll - embodying the rebellious spirit of the 60s motorbike culture.