In August of ‘76 when all of Paris was on holiday, director Claude Lelouch ripped through the streets to film the legendary C'était Un Rendez-vous (It Was A Date) in one shot.
It was sexy as hell.
Hitting landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra Garnier, the Place de la Concorde and Champs-Élysées, the “Ferrari 275 GTB” passes unsuspecting pedestrians and startled pigeons while zipping through red lights and going the wrong way on one-ways. The jaunt ends at Montmartre with the driver exiting to embrace a lovely young femme.
Though the viewer never spies the car, it was later revealed that Rendezvous was actually shot in a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 with the Ferrari sound dubbed over it. The Benz’s control was needed for the front-mounted camera’s stability.
Catapulting the classic flick into 2017, Ford has now teamed up with Lelouch to recreate the iconic dash video using a Mustang GT. This time, however, a 360-degree camera let’s the viewer take the full French scenery in. And in a final quirk, this time around it’s a woman tearing up the pavement on the way to meet her date.
“At the time, my movie was about the feeling of freedom and the pleasure driving generates,” said Lelouch. “I had goose bumps watching ‘C’etait un Rendez-Vous’ forty years later in virtual reality—I knew that Ford would do more than just a tribute to the original in this new version.”
Aside from being the most radical car film to date, the original bit gained infamy thanks to some delicious rumors. When released, the original driver was unknown. Some said it was an F1 racer, some said a taxi driver, while others thought it to be Lelouch himself. And the wind caught fire with the (perhaps) tall tale that Lelouch was arrested after the first screening.
The Ford version goes out of its way to let you know that no laws were broken in the filming of their 360-degree iteration. All fine and well, but just goes to show they don’t make ‘em like they used to.